Microsoft Launches New Internet Explorer Version for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

The so-called IE Developer Channel provides developers with even more tools

As part of its efforts to get closer to developers and convince them to embrace its products, Microsoft today rolled out a new Internet Explorer called Developer Channel that's specifically designed to provide devs with more tools to make the most of the browser's modern capabilities.

Internet Explorer Developer Channel is only available on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and comes with enhanced F12 Developer Tools, such as a revised debugging experience with event breakpoints and more keyboard shortcuts.

At the same time, Microsoft has implemented new icons and notifications, quick access to document mode and the possibility to move back and forth between recently used tools with the keyboard.

There are several console and DOM Explorer changes as well, including new time stamps, a stale message indicator and other visual improvements.

One of the most important additions, however, is the new support for Xbox controllers, which means that developers can now create games which can be played in the browser with a controller.

“IE Developer Channel comes with support of the emerging Gamepad API standard that lets you use JavaScript to add gamepad support to your Web apps and games. Try it out by attaching your Xbox 360 controller and helping the world Escape from XP, play your favorite Atari Arcade games, or try Hover.IE!” Microsoft said.

A significant performance improvement is also part of this version thanks to better WebGL implementation that adds support for a number of new technologies, such as instancing extension, 16-bit textures, GLSL built-in variables, and triangle fans. This helped improve Khronos WebGL Conformance Test 1.0.2 score from 89% to 94%, Microsoft said.

This is just the first iteration of a series that comprises multiple IE Developer Channel releases, the company explained, as it plans to provide developers with even more tools to develop applications that run in the browser.

“As we work on new features and standards, we will continue to share early code through the IE Developer Channel. You can always go to the DevChannel.Modern.IE page to learn more about the latest features in the IE Developer Channel. All of the new features supported in IE Developer Channel are also listed on Status.Modern.IE, our new portal to communicate our roadmap for interoperable Web platform features,” Microsoft explained.

Of course, you can download Internet Explorer Developer Channel for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 right now, but keep in mind that it's not recommended for production machines and it shall not be used to measure site performance.

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