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 and download it. There hasn't been any word on an official release date.