Windows 8 Comes with 2 Flavors of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10): Metro Style App and Desktop App

Microsoft has shared some interesting information about Internet Explorer 10 included with recently released Windows 8 Developer Preview build.

At Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft told us that Windows 8 Developer Preview comes with IE10 Platform Preview 3 build.

In Windows 8, IE 10 is available in 2 flavors: as a Metro style app and as a desktop app. The desktop app continues to fully support all plug-ins and extensions. The HTML5 and script engines are identical and you can easily switch between the different frame windows if you'd like.

Metro style IE provides all the main navigation keyboard shortcuts and mouse support you've come to expect - creating tabs, moving between tabs, closing tabs, entering addresses, searching, and more. But there is a big change in Metro style IE, which is the plug-in free experience.

The Metro style IE in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web.

For a web page in Metro style IE, there are no visual distractions at all. You can use standard gestures to get to functionality that otherwise distracts you from the web. You can search and share from Metro style IE using "charms", just as you do in other Metro style apps.

The new Metro style is much more than a visual design. For example, it enables you to get to your important sites with less typing. You see a touch-friendly, visual list of your frequent and pinned websites when you open a new tab or bring up the address bar:


According to Microsoft, running Metro style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for users:

  • Performance. Metro style IE has the same industry-leading performance as IE on the desktop. This includes full hardware acceleration of graphics, video, and audio, compiled JavaScript, and new layout and formatting engine optimizations for touch responsiveness.
  • Safety. Metro style IE also has the same industry-leading security, privacy, and reliability features as IE on the desktop. This includes SmartScreen, XSS filtering, and InPrivate browsing.
  • HTML5. Metro style IE delivers the same commitment to a richer HTML5 web programming model as IE on the desktop. At BUILD, we introduce new support for CSS Text Shadow, CSS 3D Transforms, IndexedDB, Web Sockets, HTML5 File APIs, HTML5 History, hyphenation, CSS Transitions and Animations, and HTML5 Application Cache, in addition to the other new features previously shown in IE10 Platform Previews.

Plug-ins were important early on in the web's history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI.

There is no need to worry because websites and applications that require legacy ActiveX controls will continue to run in the desktop browser, and people can tap "Use Desktop View" in Metro style IE for these sites. For what these sites do, the power of HTML5 makes more sense, especially in Windows 8 apps.

Plug-in free browsers today already deliver great experiences with well-authored HTML5 content. These experiences get even better with touch in Metro style IE.

Interesting. What do you think? Please let us know your opinion in your comment...


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  • There is no workable IE Tile Metro App that I can find.

    I'm amazed that Mozilla has a browser app for win8 and chrome has one and IE doesn't have a workable one.

  • I just got a windows 8 phone and I have a website I use a lot that works in ie9 but doesn't work in ie10. Cannot find any place in ie10 (phone)to change the compatibility view. Any suggestions?

  • If Internet Explorer is not the default web browser, we can lose access the Metro style Internet Explorer.

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