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Check out Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 with the release preview now available

Microsoft is charging full steam ahead with development on not only its desktop Windows platform, but also its popular web browser. Internet Explorer 11 is now available for Windows 7 as a pre-release, one step up from the developer preview we recently looked at. This release contains numerous performance improvements, updates to web standards support, as well as alterations made to developer tools.

So what's exactly touted as new in the Release Preview of IE11 on Windows 7? The Microsoft blog post goes into some detail surrounding a faster overall web experience. Paul Thurrott rounded up the newest additions rather nicely. The team behind the software has implemented additional performance tuning, leading to a 9 percent reported decrease in load times compared to Internet Explorer 10 (and 5 percent faster than the IE11 Developer Preview).

It wouldn't be Internet Explorer if we weren't to cover improved web standards support. Now able to work with an un-prefixed version of the Pointer Events standard, websites are able to work more efficiently with a mouse, keyboard, touch and even a pen / stylus. You can even personalise how captions appear in the web browser - pretty cool.

The latest Tracking Preference Expression (DNT) draft is also bundled. After installing the IE11 Release Preview, the browser will prompt you to set a default tracking preference that Internet Explorer will send to web sites. Lastly, better developer tools are now supported. In response to feedback from developers, Microsoft has improved the IE 11 in-browser developer tools to help you guys out a bit.

Here's a quick video of the Internet Explorer Release Preview in action:

Want to get your paws on a copy of the Release Preview? Head on over to the official website (opens in new tab) and download it. There hasn't been any word on an official release date.

Source: MSDN (opens in new tab), via: WinSuperSite

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Cool
  • Awesome
  • I'm writing this comment from IE 11 developer preview. IE is very buggy sometimes, for example you cant see product images on Amazon.
  • That's not IE, it's Amazon.
  • I don't know. Even IE 10 is hit and miss with displaying some images on sites like Tumblr. There are some problems Microsoft takes forever to tackle (like Movie Maker, which will continue to crash until the end of time.) Often you mention these problems in a MS support forum, and they say the same thing - take it up with someone else. Right now I'm using IE 10 well with classroom management software, and it's working fine. Might wait till the 8.1 update, then see what happens. If not, I have the other three big browsers on my system. Each has its strong points. IE is getting better though, and I find myself using it more and more.
  • Update man, ;)
  • Wohooo it works with the Preview!!!! Long live IE
  • I've been using IE 11 for a month now and I never have that problem with Amazon or any other site. I find it the most stable developer preview ever.  My only complain is that sometimes when first opeinging IE 11 I get a lot of disk thrashing.
  • Amazon use an Add on to display the pictures. Clearly the Add on is not supporting version 11 and is broken not a 'buggy IE' 
  • Wish they'd made it available for Windows 8 too but noooo, you must have 8.1 to use IE11.
  • That has annoyed me as well.  Oh well, 8.1 is almost upon us.
  • And free!
  • Guarantee that 8.1 will become mandatory in 2014.
  • I've tried the dev preview and it was flat out unusable at work.
  • I just switched from the Dev Preview and every single page I've loaded is 10x slower... what a joke. I hope this gets better by release...
  • the dev preview was not my cut of tea as it wasn't stable enough.
    can this be used a long with IE10?
  • No, this will replace IE10
  • As long as Microsoft doesn't fix the general user experience issues no amount of standards support is going to clear IE's tarnished name.
    Developers historically hated it for very good reasons, but it was the users that left IE and caused the decrease in its share.
  • Ehsan?
  • Adrian?!
  • I knew it!
  • :)
  • I hope the developer tools are good. It's going to be hard to beat the Chrome developer tools.
  • You mean Firebug on mozilla.
  • I've seen the preview of developer tools and they are way, way better. There is a learning curve, but overall, a huge step forward. It's not as intutive as Chrome's.
  • I'm hopeful. IE10 was definitely a big step in the right direction. I'm still recommending Chrome to my clients but hopefully one day I can start recommending IE.
  • I've been using IE11 for weeks (since 8/22/2013) and it has been stable and quite fast.
    IE's "tarnished name" is mostly as a result of pre-IE9 installations.  If it was truly as terrible as the "multitude" of commenters on the Internet suggest, IE would not have the commanding share of the desktop browser marketshare that it does.
  • same. im using Ie11 for a quite a time. i like it.
  • Keep in mind reason IE is main browser is preloaded on and 99% of workplaces use it cause not wanting to deal with switching and teaching.
  • Yeah, because using a browser requires a lot of training.
  • I don't get this push towards GPU processing of graphics. They seem really focused on a part of the web that I'm pretty sure, isn't really a big deal-- ESPECIALLY if IE11 is the only one that can pull it off. 99% of folks on the web just want Twitter to load correctly. I want Tumblr's keyboard shortcuts to work in IE. 
    As impressive as it all is, it just seems focued on the wrong things.
  • 99% of the people on the web don't use Twitter.
  • You don't get that they want to use the computer's graphics processing unit for the processing of graphics?
    IE is not only not the only one who can "pull it off", I am sure it isn't even the best one at the thing they are advertising so much with. IE just has terribly useability. Now the W8 metro IE users will fall all over me, but that's the truth. It's useful in metro W8 just like it is useful in my phone - because there is no alternative and it's a touchscreen. The desktop IE is terrible compared to Firefox.
  • Why would you not want GPU processing? It allows the chip designed for pushing pixels to push the pixels, freeing up the CPU to manage the layout, downloads, and all the other app's you're running. Also, why would you not want WebGL (which falls under GPU processing)? A system where developers can make advanced 3d games that anyone can play no matter what the platform?
  • Installing! :D Awesome! Glad they are still thinking about Windows 7.
  • Pft, screw that. Still using Netscape Navigator.
  • On your battery-powered abacus...
  • Lmao
  • I see that version is very unstable- when I starting to watch a movies on youtube, movie plays 2 seconds and all site freezes for about 20 sec then it plays normal This appears in all movies.
    They still did not repair color background in google images - when You point mouse cursor on white image you will not be able to read link/name/data of this image.
    Still there is no possibility to drag and drop images from other tabs to google image searcher. I'm graphic designer and this option helps a lot :/
    Still they did not add to bing calculator/cash exchange/ 
    Anybody have the same problem? What I should do to repair this?
  • I tried the developer preview and Gmail was borked with it. Not much better with this new version. Anyone else having any better luck?
  • Wow. On a whim, I decided to try something. Used the dev tools to change the user agent string to IE 10, and it still looks screwed up. Changed the user agent string to Chrome... perfect.
    Dunno if something nefarious is afoot - maybe they just havent' updated gmail because IE11 is still unreleased, but it's something to think about.