Microsoft recently released a developer preview of what is to come in Internet Explorer 9, and I’m pleased to say that they’re (finally) starting to seriously catch up with all the other browser manufacturers when it comes to modern web standards support.

Of particular relevance to this site is that they will (finally) support SVG natively in the browser. This is a huge advance for SVG as a standard, as the lack of native IE support is one thing that has been seriously impeding its uptake. It will be a few years yet before old versions of IE become irrelevant, though, so don’t expect to see SVG all over the place any time soon.

If you’re a web developer, you might want to check out Ars Technica’s article about the release. It’s one of the better articles, as is usually the case with Ars Technica, and worth a read if it’s the kind of thing that interests you.

When you get to the SVG section in that article there’s a table showing what level of support is present in the developer preview, and what level of support they anticipate having in the final product. Unfortunately it looks like SVG filters won’t make the cut.

Inkscape provides a handy “blur” slider in the Fill and Stroke dialogue which is actually a simple front-end to SVG’s “feBlur” filter. Because of that, every Greys comic contains at least that filter. The most recent Inkscape release also adds a useful “Filters” menu, pre-populated with plenty of interesting filter chains that can be applied to any object with just a couple of clicks. Consequently we’ve been using SVG filters more and more in The Greys.

Hopefully Microsoft will at least implement feBlur, as that’s widely used in SVG files. After that… well, you won’t be able to see our SVG files in all their glory in IE for some time yet, but bravo to Microsoft for taking a step in the right direction, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for version 10.