The new platform preview, arriving seven weeks after the first version of IE9 that programmers could try, embodies Microsoft's ambition to remake its browser and restore an IE reputation tarnished by years of relative stasis and of indifference to Web standards. During those years, Mozilla's Firefox rose to claim about a quarter of Web usage and Google's Chrome burst on the scene with the mission to make the Web faster. Those organizations, along with Apple and Opera, are also working on a host of new technologies to make the Web into a more powerful foundation for Web applications, and this is where Microsoft's role is evolving.
Microsoft's IE9 progress is notable, given how IE critics long have offered both those tests as evidence of IE's shortcomings. At the same time that Microsoft has come onto the playing field set up by its foes, though, it's also trying to steer the browser debate in its own direction, with two words: same markup.
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