Microsoft offers inside look at next Internet Explorer

17 Jun 2014

Microsoft lets developers and early adopters have a sneak peek at the next version of Internet Explorer

Microsoft is offering an inside look at what it's working on for Internet Explorer with a new Developer Channel.

Microsoft has previously released preview versions of major updates to its browser, but until yesterday didn't have a developer channel like rivals Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Now, IE fans will be able to see - and run - new features set to arrive in future releases. It can be downloaded at devchannel.modern.ie and works for users running Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1.

The dev channel is the result of a promise for more "open dialogue" between the IE team and the web development community, said program manager Jason Weber in a Microsoft blog post.

"IE Developer Channel can run alongside and independently of IE11, and has all of the browser features that you love in IE11, as well as the latest platform features we’re working on," he said. "As you test drive these features, make sure to give us feedback through @IEDevChat or Connect."

However, he warned that the IE Developer Channel release runs alongside IE11 using virutalisation. "This virtualisation creates a small performance hit, so we don’t recommend you use this version to measure your site’s performance."

New features

The first version of IE has two intriguing new features. The first is support for the WebDriver standard, allowing developers to create tests to automate browsers to test their website. "It’s a programmable remote control for developing complex user scenarios and running them in an automated fashion in your Web site and browser," said Weber.

Second, in the developer channel browser you can use an Xbox controller in web-based games. "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," Weber said. "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!"

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