Microsoft: What's new in IE10 in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft: What's new in IE10 in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Summary: The Metro-style version of IE10 that's integrated into the Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes a number of new features added since September. Here are some of them.


Microsoft made quite a number of changes to the Internet Explorer (IE) 10 browser that is bundled into Windows 8 between the September Developer Preview and the recently-released Consumer Preview/beta.

In a March 13 post on the "Building Windows 8" blog, company officials detailed some of these new features, focusing exclusively on those in the Metro-style IE10 variant.

A quick refresher: Microsoft will offer two IE10 flavors in Windows 8 on x86/x64 devices: A Metro-Style, touch-centric IE10 and a non-Metro-Style Desktop IE10. If you need to run plug-ins, you'll need the Desktop version, since Microsoft has decided not to allow plug-ins in the IE10 Metro-Style browser. On Windows 8 on ARM (WOA) devices, Microsoft is not allowing plug-ins at all with IE10, so there won't be but there still will be an IE Desktop version.

Microsoft execs are attempting to make the case, as this latest blog post makes clear, that the Metro-style  version of IE10 has value even if you aren't using it on a touch-enabled PC or tablet.

Here's Microsoft list of some of the IE10 features that changed between the Developer Preview and the Consumer Preview:

  • Full, independent composition enables responsive, fast and fluid behavior on real websites (including pages with fixed elements, nested scrolling regions, animations, and video)
  • Back and forward swipe navigation with preview
  • Double-tap to zoom in on content
  • Fast back and forward navigation controls for mouse
  • Mouse (CTRL+scroll wheel) and keyboard methods for quickly zooming in and out to mirror touch interactions
  • Automatic domain suggestions for faster navigation and less typing
  • Share charm support for URLs, snippets, images and selection with Mail and other apps
  • Search charm with visual search suggestions
  • Devices charm for printing, projecting, and playing video to external devices like TVs
  • Plug-in free support: notifications for sites requiring activeX
  • Background notifications for pinned sites and other tile improvements
  • Jumplists for pinned sites
  • InPrivate tabs that are easier to open
  • Clean up tabs command, which quickly closes all but current tab

Other browser makers -- Mozilla and Google -- have both said recently they intend to build Metro-Style Windows 8 versions of their respective browsers. (Opera is still mulling the idea, it seems.) But it's not clear what kind of restrictions to which Mozilla and Google may be subject, especially if they attempt to find a creative way to enable plug-ins.

Microsoft published a white paper in late February designed to help third-party vendors wade through the particulars of developing browsers for Windows 8. In that paper, entitled, "Developing a Metro style enabled desktop browser," Microsoft officials explain how browsers are subject to different Microsoft rules and regulations than other kinds of Windows 8 apps.

Speaking of Internet Explorer, Microsoft already is thinking about and even talking about IE11, as noted by Microsoft Group Policy Most Valuable Professional Alan Burchill. Burchill's post is all about using Group Policy to default to IE10 Desktop mode, by the way....

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Sooooo....

    really nothing anybody was asking for like better standards compliance or plugins/addons for IE10 in metro. Except for the charm stuff, everybody was dying for charms.
    • standards are almost as good as the competition

      You do realize the performance on IE 10 has one of the best performance and the standards compliance is almost to that of the competitions. Check out:
      You do have a point with addons.
      • i Agree

        I used the iExplorer 10 preview and i found it fast and w3c compilant!
      • Without the ability to block ads... Adblock and NoScript can do, then IE10 is an also-ran.

        We know Microsoft will never allow this because it would piss off their advertizing partners and the people they have joint ventures with.

        That needs to be said.
    • IE10 already beats FF and chrome in html5/css compliance and perf

      and security so basically everything everyone was asking for. No one cares about plugins on a tablet.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Oh really?

        Let me know when IE10 beats a browser with proper ad-blocking. IE10 doesn't do that; Firefox and Chrome have plugins that do that very well- Firefox's version is better.

        All that speed don't mean anything if you have to load all the flash ads on the page; even if FF is slower stock I can add Adblock Plus to it. You can't do that to Internet Explorer.

        For example, you have to watch the ad at the beginning of the YouTube video (let's be honest: if you're talking IE on a tablet YouTube is going to be a primary use) so IE has a 30-second disadvantage over any ad-blocking browser (FF with plugin), PLUS you'll get the ad overlay too.

        Frankly, I'm happy that add-ons are disabled; I don't have to worry about de-selecting crapware toolbars.
        But to say that "nobody cares about plugins on a tablet" is inaccurate; because I need them for a good browsing experience which IMO IE doesn't provide.
      • "no one cares about plugins on a tablet"

        A couple I'll miss is lastpass and for FF (If they don't allow them) All-in-one toolbar and Tabs Mix Plus. But if they put those features within the browser then I wouldn't care.

        IE10 is pretty nice and fast, but still would miss lastpass and I hope you can sync bookmarks otherwise I'll also miss Xmarks.
      • "No one cares about plugins on a tablet"

        That has to be one of the most laughable statements I've read here yet.

        Plugins are one of the most important things that attract people to Chrome and Firefox in the first place.

        Get out of the Redmond way of thinking, Johnny. You FAIL.
      • @ScorpioBlack

        Except he's right. A majority of tablet users, right now, are using the iPad. A lack of plugins isn't really a driving force anymore, especially with flash slowly abandoning platforms.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • People do care about plugins

        I agree with "luckyducky7"... There are several makers of cross-platform versions of plugins/apps that I want, especially were security is concerned; e.g., RoboForm, anti-keylogging/key encryption, etc. Not only are they often more creative and useful (the benefit of afterthought) but, I don't want to be locked into Microsoft/IE where these aspects are concerned and they make my browsing experience vastly improved.
      • Plug-ins

        [i]Except he's right. A majority of tablet users, right now, are using the iPad. A lack of plugins isn't really a driving force anymore, especially with flash slowly abandoning platforms.[/i]

        Not with the iPad, but then when Firefox is fully developed for Windows 8 tablets, then the plug-ins issue will be addressed.
      • @ScorpioBlack

        I have to say, I keep reading your posts where you expect the Windows Tablets to do more than other tablets.

        When did you become such a Windows fan?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Are you talking in circles again, Goff?

  • Windows 8

    windows 8 sucks...
    • True

      but only for desktop users.
  • WOA - Desktop version with no plugins?

    Hi MJ,
    Are you sure that WOA devices won't have a desktop version of IE.? Its not clear and nobody from MS has confirmed this.
    • Desktop version or not

      It won't support add-ins anyway.
    • IE on WOA

      Hi. You're right. My mistake. MS said there will be an IE Desktop version on WOA, too. But it won't allow plug-ins. So not entirely sure what the point of it is... Updated the post. Thanks for the fix! MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • "So not entirely sure what the point of it is..."

        No plugins == faster browsing? :)
      • No plug-ins = no can use

        EPIC FAIL!