Internet Explorer 10 is an interesting beast. It was built with Windows 8, and touch, in mind. It launched with Microsoft’s new operating system last month, but now it’s available on the decidedly less-touch friendly Windows 7.
Microsoft announced today that the release preview of Internet Explorer 10 is now available on Windows 7. It features a number of HTML5 and CSS enhancements that any IE stalwarts will want to upgrade for. It also should make it easier for developers to make apps work across all the different browsers now that IE10 is catching up to the strides made by Mozilla and Google with Firefox and Chrome respectively.
Those interested in trying out Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 will also be happy to know that Microsoft will turn the controversial “Do Not Track” signal on by default when you first install it. It might not do you any good, however, as advertisers have already made it a point to ignore any DNT signals sent by IE10.
A study from last week found that Internet Explorer is actually the fastest browser on Windows. Microsoft is dead set on keeping that distinction with Internet Explorer 10 and performed a number of benchmark tests to prove it.
Microsoft attributes IE10’s performance enhancements to its “powerful HTML5 engine.” Users and developers can now take advantage of the following enhancements:
Rich Visual Effects: CSS Text Shadow, CSS 3D Transforms, CSS3 Transitions and Animations, CSS3 Gradient, SVG Filter Effects
Sophisticated Page Layouts: CSS3 for publication quality page layouts and application UI (CSS3 grid, flexbox, multi-column, positioned floats, regions, and hyphenation), HTML5 Forms, input controls, and validation
Enhanced Web Programming Model: Better offline applications through local storage with IndexedDB and the HTML5 Application Cache; Web Sockets, HTML5 History, Async scripts, HTML5 File APIs, HTML5 Drag-drop, HTML5 Sandboxing, Web workers, ES5 Strict mode support.
Windows 7 users can download the IE10 release preview today. IE9 was already pretty good, so users of that particular browser may want to upgrade to IE10 when they get the chance. The performance and security improvements are probably worth the few minutes it takes to install.