Microsoft has launched its answer to Angry Birds. Will an IE9/HTML5 version of Cut the Rope, starring the green monster called Om Nom, be enough to propel IE9 to dominance?
Announced at CES by Steve Balmer and on more than one Windows Blog, a new game has launched. According to Microsoft Cut the Rope is an IE9 game but we've been playing it with Firefox and Chrome.
However, if you get hooked, as we did, and want to progress beyond the initial levels then you''ll have to install IE9. According to Ryan Gavin's blog post, if you pin the game to your Windows 7 task bar IE9 takes on the look and feel of the game and unlocks levels not found in any previous versions of a game created by ZeptoLab already popular on iOS.
Encouragingly, the team praise the way the 2D canvas graphics worked. In particular, the auto-antialiasing in Canvas beats the original OpenGL ES approach to the problem. Of course. if the task had been to port a 3D program. the task would have been much more difficult as. unlike Chrome and Firefox, IE9 doesn't support WebGL.
The current version doesn't support touch, but this is an upgrade planned for the future.
If you would like to see more than check out the video:
The video also encourages you to download the Windows 8 Developer Preview and to convert existing HTML5 apps to Windows 8 and submit them to the new Windows 8 app store.
There used to be a time when HTML5 implied that at least an attempt was being made to be browser-independent. There is no particular reason that the higher levels should be specific to IE9 - expect of course to ensure that you upgrade to IE9. Microsoft isn't alone in using this sort of tactic. Google regularly creates demo sites that only work with Chrome.
It seems that the new name of the game is to make use of HTML5's appeal to standards and browser-neutrality while building in specific traps to ensure that your particular browser does it better or is the only one that can run the app.