It’s not often that Microsoft release a major new version of their Internet Explorer browser. In fact, in the past three years, until recently there had only been two major updates to Internet Explorer (8 and 9). Compare that with other browser developers, such as Mozilla, who in the same 3 year period released no fewer than 13 major updates to their browser Firefox (4 – 16), or even Google who in the same period have introduced the world to their increasingly popular Chrome Browser (and to date have released 23 major updates!)
So there’s no question that Microsoft’s development of their flagship browser has been somewhat lackluster in recent years to say the least. However, that may soon be set to change with the surprise departure today of Microsoft’s Head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky. In a press release by Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer says:
Hopefully this commitment to “rapid development cycles” will mean that in the near future Internet Explorer will start being updated on a more regular basis – Years between updates really isn’t acceptable in this day and age, especially when competing browser developers are pushing out major updates every few months, if not every few weeks!
Anyway, back to Internet Explorer 10 – Microsoft first released an “IE10 Platform Preview” on 12 April 2011, allowing developers and Windows 7 users to get a glimpse of what’s to come in Internet Explorer 10. A second platform preview for IE10 was released shortly after… and then… nothing!
Then, when the developer previews of Windows 8 began to emerge, Internet Explorer 10 made an appearance – again, sadly only in “preview” form, but notably this time, Windows 7 users were left out of the loop. Microsoft wouldn’t allow these subsequent “previews” of IE10 to run on anything other than Windows 8 – A decision that left many developers who didn’t have access to Windows 8 developer previews frustrated as they were unable to check that their web apps/sites worked correctly with IE10.
The “final” version of Internet Explorer 10 (10.0.9200.16384) then came bundled with Windows 8 when Microsoft’s new operating system was released to manufacturers (RTM) on 26th October 2012. However, several weeks later and since the launch of Windows 8, IE10 still continues to elude Windows 7 users.
…until today! …well, kind of!
Today, Microsoft have made Internet Explorer 10 available to Windows 7 users!! Hang on, hold your horses! …it’s another “preview” only – a “Release Preview” to give it it’s proper title (Version: 10.0.9200.16438), which users can download and install alongside their existing IE9 installation.
|You can download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 here:
This “Release Preview” requires that you have at least Service Pack 1 (SP1) of Windows 7 installed, however, you can also install this Release Preview if you’re running Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1) or Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 too!!
There’s still no word on when a “final” release of IE10 will become available to Windows 7 users (via the usual Windows Update channel). But given that this is not just a “preview” but a “release preview” hints that a final release isn’t too far behind! The only clue we have from Microsoft is that “final availability to follow as we collect developer and customer feedback”
So, should you wait until a “final” release of IE10 eventually becomes available for Windows 7, or should you download this latest “preview” now?
If you’re an avid Internet Explorer user, and have never tried one of the other browser offerings available today, the chances are you’re somewhat stuck in the past with your browsing experience in Internet Explorer 9. In which case, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with just how much better your web apps and favorite web sites look and function in IE10 over IE9 – even though this is a “Release Preview” we suggest you install it!