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Microsoft Releases IE11 Dev Preview for Windows 7

Microsoft launched on Thursday the developer preview of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. It follows the release of Microsoft's latest browser in Windows 8.1 Preview, which requires Windows 8 customers to install the OS update before they can test-drive the latest Internet Explorer build. The company confirmed late last month that the browser would eventually be brought to Windows 7 customers although a time frame was not provided.

"In IE11, developers can build next generation experiences with professional-quality Web video, and hyper-fast 2D and 3D Web technologies that make the most of the underlying hardware," the company said. "IE11 supports real world standards and compatibility, and new developer tools enable developers to build high-performance Web experiences."

Microsoft said that Windows 7 customers will receive all of the performance, security, and under-the-hood changes that went into the Windows 8.1 version. These include natively decoding JPG images and text in real-time on the GPU – both of which are the heart and soul of the Internet. It also implements the W3C Resource Priorities standard enabling developers to specify which parts of the page are important and need to be loaded first.

"IE11 also supports HTML5 link prefetching and pre-rendering, so developers can help the browser anticipate where you’ll go next and get those pages ready," the company said. "On Windows 8.1, IE11 also supports the SPDY network protocol, the precursor to the HTTP 2.0 specification, enabling some sites to be downloaded faster."

Microsoft also pleads its case regarding IE11 supremacy and the new Chakra JavaScript engine, claiming that it's significantly faster than Chrome, Firefox and Opera. On Windows 7, IE11 is 4 percent faster than IE10, and nearly 30 percent faster than the nearest competitive browser – according to the WebKit SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, that is.

The company points out that Internet Explorer 11 supports WebGL for GPU-powered 2D and 3D graphics, and plugin-free HTML5-based video. All the latest standards for closed captioning is supported as well as is the HTML Full Screen API and WebCrypto. The version on Windows 8.1 also supports the latest media streaming standards, Media Source Extensions (MSE) and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

"IE11 includes a completely re-designed and enhanced suite of in-browser F12 developer tools," the company said. "These tools help Web developers diagnose and optimize their apps quickly and efficiently. Having fast and reliable Web apps is more critical than ever. The new F12 supports the fast, iterative workflow used by modern Web developers. F12 helps developers get from problem to solution quickly with actionable data, enabling fast and fluid Web experiences."

The full disclosure about Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 can be read here along with a link to the download.

  • Cryio
    Students and teachers in schools which use Windows 7 will surely love IE11. IE9 was a great improvement in IE's records, but IE10 and 11 really pull it off.

    I'm really happy for the kids.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    This is great news!!

    The only problem with IE are those companies that built internal web applications dependent on IE6 and refuse to purchase the updated versions of the programs so they can use the updated IE versions.

    These companies are stuck on Windows XP and IE7 at most IE8 which is why they still have such a huge market share.
    Reply
  • Fierce Guppy
    Vanilla Windows 8.0 users will remain vanilla Windows 8.0 users only until service pack 1 is finalized and, let's face it, that's all Windows 8.1 is -- a service pack. Once it's done, IE fanciers can download IE11. I'm a Firefox fancier. It keeps me happy.
    Reply
  • Fierce Guppy
    Vanilla Windows 8.0 users will remain vanilla Windows 8.0 users only until service pack 1 is finalized and, let's face it, that's all Windows 8.1 is -- a service pack. Once it's done, IE fanciers can download IE11. I'm a Firefox fancier. It keeps me happy.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    What's in a name, Guppy? MS is allowed to change their nomemclature if they so choose. The incremental update naming scheme is fine by me. I'd rather tell someone they need to update to 8.X than to explain to them that they need to install Service Pack X. Same thing, but simpler for the smartphone-using masses to grasp.

    Now if only I can stop wannabe tech heads from telling all their friends and family to disable automatic updates. :-/ If system updates are causing problems... chances are there's another problem that needs fixing on your machine first!
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    this just goes to shows you how popular windows 7 is when Microsoft puts windows 8 users in the backseat in favor of allowing windows 7 users to test out the ie preview first. With that said Windows 7 truly needs a service pack 2 to bundle all the updates on from the time service pack 1 came out till now. it's getting to the point where people are doing their own bundle updates and slipstreaming them onto a windows 7 cd, that's how many updates have passed since service pack 1 came out.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    businesses are trying to save as much money as possible with the slow growth economy we are in, which is prob the main reason why they continue to stick with xp but i suspect once Microsoft cuts support for xp next year that's when you will start to see a massive shift to windows 7 for many businesses and once that happens Windows 7's market share will get even larger then it is now.
    Reply
  • grumpigeek
    Great! The font rendering in IE11 on Win 7 is as bad as it is on Win 8.1.

    World's biggest software company can't even provide users with readable text on their PC screens. What a spectacular failure!
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    11240655 said:
    this just goes to shows you how popular windows 7 is when Microsoft puts windows 8 users in the backseat in favor of allowing windows 7 users to test out the ie preview first. With that said Windows 7 truly needs a service pack 2 to bundle all the updates on from the time service pack 1 came out till now. it's getting to the point where people are doing their own bundle updates and slipstreaming them onto a windows 7 cd, that's how many updates have passed since service pack 1 came out.
    I'll admit that the article wasn't as clear as it could have been, but you could also be more aware of the facts regarding subject you're discussing. Not meant as a slap in the face, it's just that you're making assumptions like they're fact, when they are not.

    The 8.1 Preview has the IE11 Preview installed. Win7 isn't too far behind though, which is nice. The only ones "left out" (heavy emphasis on the quotation marks) are 8.0 users. But really, anyone who wants to test drive IE11 on 8 will just install the 8.1 preview. You can just update to final 8.1 when it is released. It's shaping up nicely, for the most part.

    Otherwise, if you're not the test driving type, it doesn't matter if you're on Win7 or Win8. You'll just wait until final versions (of 8.1 and/or IE11) are released. They're not too far off now... 8.1 has a boatload of improvements. If you're a diehard drilll-down menu guy, I'm sure the various Classicwares will see updates by then. :P
    Reply
  • John Usa
    I totally agree with other here, and have been requesting the Windows SP2 from Microsoft for a long time, but it is falling on deaf ears.
    Microsoft, stop being stupid and stubborn, do release this SP2 ASAP as it will help your Windows 7 users very much. We hate Windows 8 and we'll never use it.
    Reply