Microsoft Introduces IE 11

Microsoft has made available Internet Explorer 11, a refresh on its Internet Explorer 10 browser with better touch performance, faster page loads, and an integrated browsing experience across all Windows devices.

The big addition to Internet Explorer 11 is WebGL, which will be available on all devices running IE11. WebGL is a technology that allows websites to access your computer’s graphics card via JavaScript, using a language/API (OpenGL) that developers are well versed in.

"With IE11, your 3D experiences can access device orientation to create new interaction opportunities for immersive web content." wrote Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft corporate vice president, Internet Explorer, in a blog post.

Tabs are now supported in higher numbers: you can have up to 100 tabs per window. That many tabs won’t drain your battery life or kill your processor, however, because Microsoft has implemented “independent tab suspension” to use memory and processor efficiently.

Touch is the focus of Internet Explorer 11, which is perhaps not surprising. Microsoft has a new slogan: “touch is the new fast.”

Microsoft has also revamped the Favorites and tab interfaces to make them simpler to use in a touch environment.

Other new features include:
  • Side-by-side browsing
  • Integration with Skype for one-click calling
  • Touch gestures for navigation
  • Live sites can be pinned as tiles in the Windows 8.1 start screen
  • Hardware-accelerated 3D web graphics
  • Plugin-free HTML5 video
  • Live sites can be embedded into Windows apps
With Windows 8.1's improved app snapping, you can now use IE11 to side-by-side two tabs, which is neat, too. There’s still no sign of WebRTC, though, which means websites still can’t access your webcam and microphone.

IE11 will be shipping with Windows 8.1, and you can test it now with the 8.1 preview or wait for the final release that will arrive later this year.

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