I just read an article about Internet Explorer 9. Considering that Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have made significant strides towards standards-compliance, I was under the impression that IE9 might begin to support CSS3 and HTML5. Especially since Microsoft has taken an interest in working with the W3C, Apple, Mozilla, and Google on HTML5.

First the good news. IE9 brings significant improvements to JavaScript performance. This is fantastic since IE8 cannot keep up. I've actually disabled some features on the REAL web site when using Internet Explorer because it just is not fast enough.

The bad news is that Microsoft is continuing to threaten standards. Rather than supporting the proposed cross-platform WebGL, Microsoft intends to support their own Windows-only Direct2D. Once again, developers will need to choose which side they're on. It is nothing new either. In the IE6 days, developers needed to choose to do things right and support everything except IE6, or do them simple and wrong to support IE6. This will be even worse, because a developer looking to do 3D will have no choice than two write two sets of code, or choose to support only IE9 or standards browsers.

Does it surprise me? Yes and no. It surprises me because it seemed as if Microsoft was interested in making a good browser. It does not surprise me because Microsoft gets everything else wrong, so why would this have been different.