This sure took a while, but Microsoft just announced that Internet Explorer 10 is now finally available for all Windows 7 users worldwide. Previously, the release version of IE10 was only available on Windows 8, though the company did launch a preview version for Windows 7 users last November. Starting today, Microsoft will make the release version of IE10 available for download to all Windows 7 users. It will also start auto-updating its over 700 million IE9 users and those currently using the preview release.
Those currently using the pre-release version will be the first to see the auto-update prompts and the rest of Microsoft’s Windows 7 users will see the notification over the next few weeks and months as Microsoft rolls the new version out to all of its customers. Microsoft plans to watch for any issues with the upgrade and adjust the speed at which it rolls out IE10 accordingly.
As Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s General Manager of Internet Explorer, told me last week, he does not see any reasons why an Internet Explorer user would choose not to upgrade to IE10 (thanks to the Windows 8 release, it is probably the best-tested version of IE, he argued).
According to Microsoft, IE10 is at least 20% faster than IE9 when it comes to real-world performance. IE10, Gavin also noted, will ship with “Do Not Track” turned on by default and offer users more privacy and security features than IE9.
For developers, IE 10 also offers a “60% increase in supported modern web standards.” Some of the new standards supported in IE10 include CSS3 Transitions and Animations, better support for responsive page layouts (CSS3 grid, positioned floats, etc.), HTML5 Forms, Web Sockets, HTML5 drag and drop and pointer events for touch-enabled web apps.
One feature Microsoft is stressing in this release in the fact that IE10 is touch-enabled. To highlight this – despite the fact that there really aren’t that many Windows 7 devices with touch-enabled screens on the market – Microsoft is launching a new ad campaign that focuses solely on touch. In addition, Microsoft is launching ExploreTouch.ie today, an HTML5-based site based on the ad and the Blake Lewis track featured in the campaign. The site was developed by Fantasy Interactive with support from Clarity Consulting and the IE team. As usual, Microsoft also offers a behind the scene look at the new site that offers code samples and a more in-depth look at how ExploreTouch.ie came to be.
Here is what the new ads will look like:
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...