The last in a line of browsers that have accompanied Windows OS since its inclusion as the default browser in 1995, Internet Explorer 11 is also the precursor of Microsoft Edge, the new Microsoft Web navigation tool for both Windows Phone and Windows 10. With the stress put on security and a faster browsing experience, IE11 mixes backward compatibility with the support for the latest Web standards - such as HTML5, WebM, WebGL, etc. - and media codecs.
If you upgraded your PC to Windows 10, you’ll notice that the default Microsoft browser is no longer Internet Explorer, but Microsoft Edge, which started as the default navigation tool for the new Windows Phone OS and that has now taken over – in a totally logical move – as the default browser for all devices running on Windows 10. Actually, IE is still there on your computer, though you will have to look for it if you still want to use it. Internet Explorer 11 is the last of its kind and is already minimally supported by Microsoft. Thus, IE 11 could be considered as a kind of “transition browser” between IE and Edge, a goodbye to the browser that nearly everyone used at the turn of the century and an attempt to recover part of the popularity lost first to Firefox and then to Chrome during the last 15 years.
A third big change also worth mentioning refers to its revamped developer tools. They have been redesigned, and they look much more professional now, and new features to check memory use and responsiveness have been added. A new Emulation feature will let you check your site’s (or anyone else’s, for that matter) backward compatibility down to IE5. Still, some of the windows and menus that open when exploring Internet Explorer 11’s whole functionality seem to have been a bit neglected in the look-and-feel department. They take me back to previous versions and confirm my impression that IE11 is nothing but a bridge between Internet Explorer and Edge, between Windows 7/8 and 10.
- Multi-tab interface
- Accessibility features
- High-end security and blocking features
- Support for more media codecs
- HTML5 and WebGL support
- Backward compatibility
- High memory consumer
- Weird mixture of old and new features and interfaces
- Designed for Windows 7 and 8 only