Microsoft rolls out IE11 for Windows 7 consumer preview

Microsoft rolls out IE11 for Windows 7 consumer preview

Summary: A new test build of IE11 for Windows 7 is available for download by consumers, enthusiasts and developers.

SHARE:
23

In late July, Microsoft delivered a developer preview of its Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) browser for Windows 7. On September 18, the company rolled out the follow-on -- a release preview of IE11 for Windows 7.

ie11win7

IE11 for Windows 7 release preview (as it is called officially) is meant for anyone to download and try. The updated preview is available from the Microsoft download center. It's also available for download from the IE site.

This is the final test build of IE11 for Windows 7 before general availability of this version of the browser. IE11 for Windows 7 is due out some time "later this fall." Microsoft officials aren't providing a specific date. IE11 for Windows 8.1 will be generally available on October 18, the day that Windows 8.1 launches.

IE11 for Windows 7 includes many, but not all, of the same features that are in the Windows 8.1 version.

Here's what's different:

  • In the Windows 7 version of IE11, the URL bar remains at the top of the browser (like it is with IE10 on Windows 7). IE11 for Windows 8.1 puts the URL bar at the bottom.
  • Since Windows 7 does not offer the “metro”/modern UI like Windows 8 and 8.1, some of the enhancements specific to that UI don’t carry over, such as the new tab view. (However, while being able to open 100 tabs simultaneously in the modern mode is new, it’s been possible to view unlimited tabs in the desktop version for a while.)
  • IE11 on Windows 7 won't support for premium video extensions like the 8.1 version does. "There are many solutions available for Windows 7 customers to stream and view protected content online, those methods will continue to function for customers," a spokesperson confirmed. (Read: Silverlight and Flash.)
  • No support for Google's SPDY protocol (the precursor to HTTP 2.0) in IE11 on Windows 7. IE11 on Windows 8.1 does support SPDY.
  • IE11 on Windows 7 will not support Enhanced Protected Mode browser security enhancements. (IE10 on Windows 7 didn't, either.)
  • The UI Responsiveness tab is disabled in the F12 developer tools. However, support for this will be coming by the time the final version of IE11 for Windows 7 is released, thanks to "an update to the underlying Windows 7 platform."

Beyond this handful of differences, IE11 for Windows 7 and IE 11 for Windows 8.1 are largely the same, according to Microsoft officials.

The updated release preview includes a number of performance enhancements that Microsoft has made since the developer preview was released. It also includes a few new features of interest specifically to developers.

According to a posting on the IE Blog, now that the Pointer Events specification is a Candidate Recommendation at the W3C, IE11 supports an un-prefixed version of the emerging standard. "With Pointer Events support across the full range of Windows devices (and soon to other browsers), web sites can easily build experiences that work equally well with mouse, keyboard, pen, and touch," officials said.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Windows

About

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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

23 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Re: Microsoft rolls out IE11 for Windows 7 consumer preview....

    The question remains. Why not IE11 for Windows 8 ?
    5735guy
    • Why no IE11 for Windows 8

      I *think* it's because MS is assuming all Win 8 users are going to do the free upgrade to 8.1. Is there any reason you wouldn't upgrade from 8 to 8.1? MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Re: Why no...............................

        BECAUSE both8 and 8.1 produce more vacuum than outer space!!! Ergo they rival even Dyson's "No lose of suction" claim"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
        Disgruntled_MS_User
        • Did you come to a blog about Microsoft stuff

          just to say how much you hate Windows 8?
          Michael Alan Goff
    • Adding another supported platform would complicate the test matrix

      Testing Windows and IE probably costs as much - or more - than developing it. Win8 users have an easy path to IE11; move to Win8.1. Given that relatively few folks would be interested in running IE11 but not interested in running Win8.1, it makes sense to me.
      Flydog57
    • 8.1 is more than a Service Pack

      but it is. Microsoft is not Apple, where Apple charges for each service pack the users. Microsoft choose not to. Since it is same as Service Pack, basically it is same OS with some changes and fixes.
      Ram U
  • Re: Why no IE11 for Windows 8....

    I find it hard to believe every Windows 8 user will choose to upgrade to Windows 8.1. In not developing IE11 for Windows 8 Microsoft are no less than walking away from it therefore making it a redundant release.
    5735guy
    • Redundant

      Staying on 8.0 makes no sense. Obviously Microsoft is giving an additional incentive to upgrade.
      tbsteph@...
  • Refusal to upgrade to Win8.1 is like saying, lets not bother with updates!

    Some folks are crazy, of course MS expects everyone to ultimately upgrade to 8.1 IT'S FREE!, corporate users might be more hesitant with existing rollouts, but consumers, can't think of a reason not to! And you get IE11 as well....what's not to like?

    As someone mentioned earlier, it is effectively a SP1 on steroids :-)
    Carl White
    • what's not to like?...

      ... you mean apart from Windows 8 in general?
      btone-c5d11
    • Re: Refusal.....................

      It's only free if one was "STUPID ENOUGH" to have moved to Win 8. The prices I've seen for Win 8.1, assuming that a user of Win 7 wanted to migrate there, is a minimum of $120 (base level) to the top of the line price of $200!!

      SO WHAT IS FREE ABOUT IT?????? Hello???? Anybody home??????????????????
      Disgruntled_MS_User
      • Stupid enough?

        Do you really think moving to a faster and more efficient OS is stupid?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • OK I'll Bite...

        If you own 8 then it is free. I bought Win8 for use at home last year when it was cheap. Guess you were too busy getting your knickers in a twist about the new start screen at the time and missed the fact that under that first-gen. UI was a much better version Windows?
        fearful
      • hey

        if you do not like the price of windows 8 at the store go to newegg that is where I shop. stop complaining about Microsoft they make great products.
        Paul Connelly
  • IE11 Doesn't Seem Compatible with Many of My Browser Add-Ons...

    Unless I have something set up incorrectly, Java and Flash do not seem to work in IE11 on my Win 8.1 laptop. The other we browsers (Firefox and Chrome) are just fine with Flash and Java.

    I am hoping Oracle hurries and releases a compatible version of Java. Until then, Chrome works great as always.
    corkwatchr
    • Flash for IE11?

      You do realize that Flash is built into IE11 on Windows 8.1?
      brhorv
    • You don't set up flash in IE 11

      It's just there and it just works.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • HUH?????

    First paragraph - - last seven (7) words - - sayeth BJ - - "a release preview of IE11 for Windows 7." Just sayen. . . . . .
    puppadave
  • For What Good Reason is IE11 Limited on Windows 7?

    “IE11 for Windows 8.1 puts the URL bar at the bottom.” False. Comparing the desktop version of IE11 on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the URL bar is located at the top.

    “Support for up to 100 simultaneously opened tabs per window isn't enabled in IE11 on Windows 7.” I would bet that on the desktop version of IE11 on Windows 8.1, you have the same limitation. In fact, I know it has the same limitation.

    “IE11 on Windows 7 won't support for premium video extensions like the 8.1 version does. "There are many solutions available for Windows 7 customers to stream and view protected content online, those methods will continue to function for customers," a spokesperson confirmed. (Read: Silverlight and Flash.)” No real reason. Another example of built-in stupidity and the unintended consequence of driving users to other browsers.

    “No support for Google's SPDY protocol (the precursor to HTTP 2.0) in IE11 on Windows 7. IE11 on Windows 8.1 does support SPDY.” Why? What is the reason to limit Windows 7 users? All that will do is make them download and use Chrome instead. What is gained by not allowing this?


    Just another browser—just like IE9 and IE10—that won’t work properly with most .gov and .mil websites that require CAC, PKI authentication.

    I’m so embarrassed. I used to be one of the largest Microsoft supporters around. Now, I find myself almost doing a “180” with some of the recent decisions and products coming out of Redmond.
    DarienHawk67
  • Enhanced protected mode available

    No, enhanced protected mode is available in IE11 preview for W7
    Pierre771