This is Internet Explorer. This is Internet Explorer for the Desktop.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is out, so you also have access to preview the next version of Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer 10!  The new Windows 8 operating system and Metro style interface brings new challenges as Microsoft strives to move forward while still supporting everything you can run on Windows 7, including everyone’s favorite application – the Internet browser.


Internet Explorer 10 supports modern standards like HTML5, CSS3 and SVG developers the ability to build more powerful web apps and continue to support the security enhancements brought to you with Internet Explorer 9.  

Metro style applications are the native type of application for Windows 8.  So it’s no surprise that Internet Explorer 10 completely embraces this with it’s Metro style “experience”.  (Special Note: The IE 10 experience presented to the user on Windows 8 shall hereby be referred to simply as “Internet Explorer”. Do not forget this. It is important.)

Internet Explorer is a touch-centric, add-in free, plug-in free browsing experience that doesn’t support ActiveX, Flash or Silverlight.  

But wait! What about existing websites and web apps that require those components? I can’t use these on Windows 8?

Windows 8 completely supports the full desktop “experience” that you know and love from Windows 7.  All of your current Windows applications can run using the desktop experience, including the Internet browsing you already do.

Oh cool.  So I can install Internet Explorer 9 and get my plug-ins?

No, Windows 8 doesn’t support IE 9.  But within the Windows 8 desktop, Internet Explorer 10 presents a different browsing experience.  Using the same engine, Internet Explorer for the Desktop supports the traditional browsing features, such as tabs and plug-ins as well as compatibility modes for IE 7 and 8.

So I get two versions of Internet Explorer 10?

Nope. Internet Explorer 10 is one application that provides two browsing experiences, depending on your needs and the feature requirements of the web page itself.

“Internet Explorer” is the touch-centric experience for the new Windows interface. “Internet Explorer for the Desktop” is the experience similar to Internet Explorer 9 – available on the desktop and uses a traditional tab layout and supports plug-ins.

It’s the same, but different!

Can’t I just call it all “Internet Explorer”?

You could. But that means you’ve already forgotten the special note from earlier in this post. The application is Internet Explorer 10 and your browsing experience will vary depending on if you launch the browser natively – Internet Explorer, or through the desktop – Internet Explorer for the Desktop.
Remember, you are already used to different browsing experiences, websites are often customized for different devices and display formats.  Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 allows you to get the full experience from websites designed with the most modern standards, while not having to abandon other sites that use plug-ins or older coding.

This is a win-win, no matter what you call it.


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