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October 7, 2013

Right from the Start: The Best Web is on Windows with Internet Explorer 11

Recently we kicked off the “Right from the Start” blog series highlighting the apps and services of Windows 8.1. We have talked about Bing apps, Xbox, Reading List, the Mail app and today we are sharing all of the great advancements that come with IE11 and Windows 8.1. We are proud of the new Internet Explorer and how far the browser has come and we know that users will be impressed, too! In fact, we recently took to the streets to find out exactly what people think about Internet Explorer and as you’ll see, actually using IE11 and Windows 8.1 was enough to change a few minds.

IE11 is perfect for touch on your Windows 8.1 tablet

IE11 makes many improvements to the way you interact with the sites you visit every day. If you are like me you use your PC at work, at home and on the road. A ton of what I do is online from checking out articles, to banking, reading and keeping up with news and social sites. For me that means I need a browser that can be my full time browser on my touch device. IE11 is built to be the best browser no matter the task:

As many tabs as you want: Up to 100 tabs per window and faster switching with tabs that are there when you need them, out of your way when you don’t means that all my favorite sites are just a swipe away. Responding to feedback from our users, IE11 has a new option to always show your tabs and address bar for faster, easier access whether you are browsing with a touch or keyboard and mouse.


Live tile sites on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen: With Windows 8.1, your pinned sites can now be alive with activity, pulling data directly from the websites RSS feed so your Start screen is updated with the latest posts, scores or stocks – information from the Web right on your Start screen.

Side-by-side browsing: When you click a link from the Mail app or launch an article from the Reading List app IE is automatically arranged side-by-side. You can check a map while reading directions to a friend’s house. And whether you are using a small device or a large one, you can see two things at once on the web by opening multiple windows of IE side-by-side. Easily compare two sites at once or use two sites together by launching multiple, full-featured windows of IE11.


Apps and sites are better together: Launching a saved article from the Reading List app launches IE side-by-side.

IE calling: IE11 automatically detects and highlights phone numbers on a page. When you see a phone number, just tap on it and begin your call right next to your webpage using a calling app like Skype or Lync. It’s incredibly useful when you are making a reservation or appointment right from a webpage.


IE 11 automatically recognize phone numbers on Web pages so you can tap to call.

More beautiful, touchable favorites: Full support for Favorite sites with folders and custom tile pictures that are more personal and always stays in sync with the desktop and across all your Windows 8.1 PCs.

Your sites first: The most important part of the screen is available for your sites with a single, unified interface with tabs and address bar at the bottom optimized for fast access and touch.

Reading View: IE11 also brings Reading View, which displays text from the Web in a beautiful, full-screen view within the browser. Making sitting back with your Windows 8.1 tablet and reading easy and enjoyable.

Reading View

Reading an article on MSN with IE11’s Reading View.

A consistent browsing experience across your devices: And because you expect to be able to continue the browsing you do from one Windows device to the next, IE11 adds support for accessing tabs open across your devices, kept in sync through the cloud with SkyDrive. As you move between your Windows devices, your open tabs, favorites, history, user names/passwords, and more are always up to date and under your control.

Building the best browser for touch

With Windows 8 and IE10, we set out to build the world’s best touch browser. Internet Explorer 11 continues that direction by introducing new touch features and improving existing features to provide the best touch experience yet.

Touch responsiveness and battery life on Windows devices: IE11 produces “stick to your finger” touch responsiveness by using the whole PC to process gestures such as panning, zooming, and swiping. Also using the entire PC – and specifically the GPU – allows us to offload intensive tasks like image decoding so we can improve battery life and keep your CPU free to render page elements. For you this means IE11 makes browsing fast and fluid by prioritizing work and by pre-fetching content in the background so pages load almost instantaneously.

Touch optimized address bar: Get to your most frequently used sites quickly, always fresh and up to date with the browsing you do across all your devices. Typing is faster with site suggestions, including direct links to site sections, Bing search suggestions, and suggested Windows Store apps. You can even get instant answers for weather and stock prices from the address bar.

Enabling the Next Generation of Great Websites


Hover, a classic PC game, brought to the web with IE11 and modern technologies like WebGL

We optimized the IE11 browsing engine for the sites you visit every day to be both fast and highly responsive to touch. IE11 also gives developers tools to build the next generation of great websites with tools like professional-quality Web video, and hyper-fast 2D and 3D Web technologies that make the most of the underlying hardware. Last week we launched Hover, a great example of how you can bring a PC game to the web by using a modern browser like IE11 that delivers fast and responsive app-like performance. IE11 supports real world standards and compatibility, and new F12 developer tools enable developers to build high-performance Web experiences on Windows devices.

Some of the key ways that Windows 8.1 provides the best stage for the web while enabling new 3D, gaming, and media experiences:

Hardware-accelerated 3D Web graphics. Interoperable WebGL experiences run on all devices, taking advantage of GPU acceleration. With IE11, the web is more alive than ever with immersive 3D experiences that can access your device’s orientation to create new interactive experiences on the web.

Everest WebGL Screenshot

In partnership with GlacierWorks, IE11 mapped the Everest region in 3D using WebGL.

The existing Web continues to work – even better: IE11 is interoperable with existing sites, which just run faster and look better in IE. Of course, corporate intranet and legacy sites and apps continue to run in IE11, which supports Compatibility View.

Enable professional-quality video experiences on the Web. IE11 supports plugin-free HTML5 video with the latest standards for closed captioning, streaming that adapts to available network bandwidth, and rights management. Power-efficient video streaming in Windows 8.1 also extends battery life for Web video. When you download and install Windows 8.1 for instance, you can visit Netflix and watch your favorite movies and TV shows using HTML5 without the need to install any plugins.

Get ready for the best web on Windows

IE11 on Windows 8.1 delivers the best web experience on any tablet. We built IE11 to make the web great on Windows 8.1 and getting to the sites you love fast and using apps and sites together. Try out everything new in IE11 today with the Windows 8.1 Preview or update your Windows 8 device starting October 18th to get the absolutely best browsing experience on your Windows device!

Ryan Gavin
General Manager
Microsoft Apps & Services