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Thursday, July 25, 2013
IE11 Preview For Windows 7 Released

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 11 with the recent Windows 8.1 Preview. The new browser promises to offer improved performance, faster page load times, new standards support for next generation sites, and completely revised F12 developer tools.

The Developer Preview of IE11 on Windows 7 is available for download today.

With IE11 for Windows 7 Developer Preview allows makes it easier for developers to build Web content that will eventually be available to over 700 million Windows users. Microsoft is also providing an update to modern.IE, including a new cross-browser Web site screenshot service and new virtual machine images.

Microsoft optimized the IE11 browsing engine for real-world sites to download and display fast and be highly responsive and interactive.

IE11 is the first browser to natively decode JPG images in real-time on the GPU, so pages load faster and use less memory, reducing power consumption and improving battery life. IE11 is also the first browser to render text on the GPU. Text and images are the heart of the Web, and accelerated text and JPG performance impacts nearly every page you see.

IE11 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.

Internet Explorer 11 also promises to offer leading performance with Microsoft's JavaScript engine, Chakra. The JIT compiler now supports more optimizations including polymorphic caching of properties and inlining of function calls, so even more code is JIT'ed and less time is spent in JavaScript computation. Garbage collection now utilizes the background thread more efficiently, substantially reducing the frequency and amount of time the UI thread is blocked doing garbage collection.

IE11 also includes support for the well-defined and commonly used features of the emerging ECMAScript 6 standard. IE11 supports features including let, const, Map, Set, and WeakMap, as well as __proto__ for improved interoperability. IE11 also supports the ECMAScript Internationalization API (version 1.0), which enables culture aware sorting, number formatting, date and time formatting to be performed efficiently in JavaScript without having to round-trip to the server.

As we improve performance for real-world sites, IE11?s JavaScript performance on benchmarks like WebKit SunSpider continues to lead compared with latest version of other browsers. On Windows 7, IE11 is 4% faster than IE10, and nearly 30% faster than the nearest competitive browser, Microsoft claims.

IE11 also includes a re-designed and enhanced suite of in-browser F12 developer tools. 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 F12 tools include:

- UI Responsiveness and Memory Profiling tools that help developers diagnose and fix performance issues
- Live DOM Explorer and CSS inspection tools that update with the page so developers can iteratively explore how IE is laying out and rendering Web apps
- JavaScript debugging that starts quickly without a page refresh so developers can get to work more quickly

Internet Explorer 11 supportsmore HTML5 and CSS properties, including Canvas 2D enhancements (image smoothing, fill rules, dashed lines), CSS border-image support, Device fixed positioning, mutation observers, updated Pointer Events and CSS Flexbox support, and more. It also improves existing features. For example, IE11 includes extensive improvements to the built-in text editor. Microsoft's engineers have also added support for pasting images, a full- featured undo stack, and enhanced touch keyboard and international character input.

For consumers, these changes mean that more sites will work better in the latest version of IE. For developers, these changes mean building great interoperable experiences with less browser-specific code.

You can find a full list of new functionality available to developers in the IE11 Developer Guide here.

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