Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7

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Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7

Speed improvements promised.

Microsoft has extended access to the latest version of Internet Explorer, which previoulsy only came with its newest Windows 8.1 operating system, to users of Windows 7 the company said today.

Internet Explorer 11 features hardware accelerated rendering of web pages and 3D graphics for improved performance, and Microsoft claims the browser is 30 per cent faster for "real world sites".

Standards support is also extended for HTML5 mark-up language, cascading style sheets version 3, vector graphics and an updated Chakra Just in Time (JIT) Javascript compiler provides optimised, inline caches for polymorphic property access as well as more efficient garbage collection with a background thread to reduce blocking of the user interface.

New F12 development tools for debugging and tuning web sites are also bundled with IE11.

Several features tied in with Windows 8.1 won't be available to Windows 7 users running IE11, meaning users requiring them will need to upgrade their operating systems.

These include a more restrictive AppContainers system isolation or "sandbox" security policy and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) for digital rights management.

Syncing across devices is not available on Windows 7 IE11 installations, nor is the SPDY protocol that helps accelerate web page loading. High resolution display scaling ("high DPI") is exclusively for Windows 8.1 users as well.

Internet Explorer 11 can be manually downloaded, and is also offered through Windows Upgrade for Windows 7 users who have versions 9 and 10 installed already. Windows 8 users however must upgrade to Windows 8.1 in order to get IE11.

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