Microsoft will finally launch a preview of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 in mid-November, the company announced today. With the Windows 8 launch less than two weeks away, Microsoft has obviously been focusing on the release of Internet Explorer 10 for its new operating system lately. Internet Explorer 10, after all, will be an integral part of Windows 8, both on the Metro/Windows 8 UI side of the OS and on the classic desktop. As far as IE10 for Microsoft’s older operating systems, though, the company has stayed relatively quiet until today.
In the age of rapid-release schedules, Microsoft’s release schedule for Internet Explorer feels almost glacial. Microsoft announced IE10 at its MIX 11 conference in April 2011. Since then, the company released various preview builds, but with few early exceptions, all of these previews were for Windows 8. Even today’s announcement remains rather vague and doesn’t specify an actual release date beyond “mid-November.”
According to Microsoft, IE10 for Windows 7 will be based on the “same standards based platform for developers to target as IE10 on Windows 8.” It still remains odd that Microsoft won’t ship IE10 for Windows 7 weeks after its launch on Windows 8. While IE10 is fairly deeply integrated into the Windows 8 experience and has been optimized for touch, it’s hard to see why Microsoft couldn’t release it for both operating systems at the same time.
IE10, it is worth noting, won’t run on older Microsoft operating systems like Vista and XP.
Over the last few months, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to highlight the strengths of Internet Explorer 10 through collaborations with Pulse, Atari and the developers behind the popular game Contre Jour.