Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the latest release of Microsoft’s next generation desktop client, was made available for the masses on February 29th with new Internet Explorer 10 version inside, in addition to a variety of other enhancements over the Developer Preview flavor.
IE10 Platform Preview 5 was included in the new Windows 8 release, with a series of touch optimizations packed inside, along with performance improvements and “support for more HTML5.”
The new browser flavor will work as a Metro application in full screen, but will also offer users the possibility to run it on the desktop.
Tabs and navigation controls won’t be on the screen at all times, but will appear when needed. Thus, the entire screen will be reserved for the website you are viewing.
The application works fast, as it has been designed to take advantage of hardware acceleration, and modern browser standards like HTML5 for that.
On top of that, Microsoft designed the new browser flavor with increased protection against malware and phishing.
It also comes with SmartScreen Filter, which identifies scams and sites known to be malicious and warns users on them. There are also privacy controls in Tracking aimed at enabling users to better control what happens with their info on the web.
Through this common HTML5 engine, the company aimed at offering a consistently fast, safe, and powerful support for Web standards and the Web programming model.
“Consumers experience this power with rich, beautiful visual effects that take full advantage of the underlying hardware safely,” Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president, Internet Explorer, explains.
To get a better understanding of the capabilities of IE10 in Windows 8 Consumer Preview, users will simply have to head over to the IE Test Drive site.
“The Test Drive site demonstrates how much better the Web can be with rich visual effects, sophisticated page layouts, and the advances to the Web programming model. You can read the full list in the IE10 developer guide,” Hachamovitch explains.
The new Internet Explorer in Windows 8 does not offer support for plug-ins. The browser is meant to provide an experience similar to the one available for mobile phones, which do not feature plug-ins either.
In fact, Microsoft is recommending that developers design their products so as to detect when plug-ins are not available and rely on native browser patterns.
Additionally, the company is asking developers to update older, out of date libraries of their sites, so that they work properly on new browsers such as Internet Explorer 10.
“We also recommend that developers use feature, not browser, detection. Often, the compatibility problem reports we receive have more to do with sites detecting IE and sending it different content than they send other browsers than any particular issue in IE,” Hachamovitch continues.