Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview for Windows 7

September 18, 2013 – 15:37 by in News Print Share No Comment

Microsoft has announced the availability of Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview, an update to the Developer Preview which appeared back in July.

The core feature list remains the same: HTML 5 prefetching gets pages ready before you click the link; an updated JavaScript engine and GPU acceleration gets it on the screen even faster; there’s better support for various web standards, and assorted lesser tweaks and bug fixes.

This is the last Preview build, too. Microsoft hasn’t yet said when IE11 for Windows 7 will be released – only “later this fall” – but Windows 8 users will see it arrive as a part of Windows 8.1, which becomes available on October 18.

Microsoft’s latest is particularly strong on performance and video-related enhancements

If you can’t wait and want to try out the Release Preview, then keep in mind that it’s only available for Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008. And it’s still a beta, so you really shouldn’t install it anywhere important. You’re unlikely to have problems – from what we’ve seen, it’s relatively well-behaved, and you can always uninstall it, if necessary – but Internet Explorer is such a key part of Windows that it’s wise not to take risks.

The alternative approach is to download Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview on one of several virtual machines. These are aimed at developers, but free for anyone to use (if they’ve the patience to download the huge files, anyway).

Release Preview VMs will become available this week for Mac, Linux or Windows, using VirtualBox, VMWare Player, VMWare Fusion, Virtual PC, Hyper-V, Parallels for Mac and more. Follow @IEDevChat or just check out the site on a regular basis to find out when they’re released.

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