Windows 7 receives nearly full Windows 8.1 IE11 treatment

IE Girl Inori Aizawa
IE11 on W7

The latest version of Internet Explorer 11 is finally being ported from Windows 8.1 to Windows 7.

Since September 18, IE 11 has been available to gamers and start button purists holding onto Windows 7 as a Release Preview, but now everyone can download the newly finalized build of Microsoft's internet browser.

The IE 11 build coming to Windows 7 is almost the same as what comes with the recently shipped Windows 8.1. It features the same speed improvements, enhanced web security measures and interface updates as its newer counterpart.

The update also includes Microsoft's F12 developer tools and support for touch gestures, as well as Microsoft's new clutter-free Reading View for Internet Explorer

What's under the hood?

According to the Redmond company, users switching over from IE10 will see a 9% performance increase on version 11. Microsoft has also previously claimed IE11 as the fastest desktop browser in the world at 30% quicker than competitors like Safari and Chrome.

Microsoft-produced numbers aside, IE11 brings some serious browser upgrades to the four-year-old OS. The real reason behind the browser's faster speed is the Flip Ahead feature, which preloads up to two pages if you're reading a multipage story.

The other major new addition is Microsoft has finally supported WebGL on Windows 7. If you tdon't know what WebGL is, it makes image filled webpages load faster using GPU hardware acceleration whilst using less memory. It also supports HTML5 link pre-fetching and pre-rendering.

The top URL bar remains an aesthetic miss on Windows 7 where it can be found on the bottom in Windows 8.1. The ported browser also does not have the new tab view, and IE 11 doesn't support Google's SPDY protocol (the precursor to HTTP 2.0) on Windows 7 or the newer OS.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.