After teasing users since April 2011 with previews, Microsoft has at long last released a complete version of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7. While the company promises that the browser loads "real world" Web pages up to 20 percent faster, developers are likely more interested in the broader Web-standards support, particularly HTML5 -- assuming they've exercised enough patience for IE10 to come to Windows 7.
In a blog post, Microsoft's Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer, announced the availability of IE10 for Windows 7 and detailed the browser's superiority over IE9. His post received mixed responses from the MSDN community, ranging from "Hurray!" to "Why the heck did this take so long?"
Back in 2011, Microsoft unveiled its first preview version of Internet Explorer 10, which ran on Windows 7 and later. The second preview also run on Windows 7, but all that followed were Windows 8-only until last November. IE10 for Windows 8, meanwhile, reached general availability last September.
IE10 for Windows 7 adds support for 30 new Web standards, including the latest HTML5, CSS3, DOM (Document Object Model), Web Performance, and Web Application specifications, wrote Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer. Support for CSS Text Shadow, 3D Transforms, Transitions, and Animations enable developers to create rich visual effects, according to Mauceri. Developers also can create more sophisticated and responsive page layouts with CSS3 and HTML5 forms, enabling UI tricks like flexbox, positioned floats, and regions.
Support for local storage via IndexedDB and the HTML5 Application Cache will help developers create better offline applications, he said. IE10 also supports HTML5 Drag-drop, File Reader API, Media Query Listeners, and Pointer Events, which can aid in building more interactive Web apps.
On the security front, Mauceri said that IE10 offers superior Web-app security with the same markup and support for HTML5 Sandbox for iframe isolation.
There are differences between IE10 for Windows 7 and for Windows 8, all of which involve touch-related APIs. For example, IE10 on Windows 7 will not fire certain DOM events, such as MSPointerHover, MSPointerMove, MSGestureStart, MSGestureTap, and MSManipulationStateChanged. IE10 for Windows 7 also doesn't support certain CSS scrolling, zooming, and touch properties, as well as aria-haspopup, a DOM property supported on Windows 8 that simulates mouse hover functionality in touch-based scenarios.
Developers can use Microsoft's recently launched modern.IE tool to test and verify their sites. It offers providers a wizard that scans a Web page URL for common interoperability problems and suggests some ideas for how to address those issues.