Microsoft updates Internet Explorer with enterprise-friendly features

Windows 8
Arriving on Windows 8.1

Microsoft has unveiled a slew of updates for Internet Explorer 11 at its Build conference in San Francisco, California.

A new version of IE11 will come bundled with Windows 8.1 Update 1, available immediately on the Microsoft Developers Network and TechNet. Consumers will have to wait until April 8 to get their hands on it. It will also be made available to Windows 7 users.

IE11 will also be launched on Windows Phone 8.1, bringing some desktop features for the first time to the mobile screen. These include the ability to pin sites to the Start Screen, Reading Mode for better article reading, and Voice Commands for easier browsing.

The InPrivate option will also keep users' browsing history private, while a new High Savings Mode will reduce data consumption by between 60 and 80%. This is achieved by only loading relevant website elements and reducing image downloads.

Addressing business blues

Coupled with IE11 for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 is the new Enterprise Mode, which provides safe updates with backwards compatibility for IE8 or below.

The fragmentation of IE across the business sector has always been a significant pain, with websites developed for different versions. Enterprise Mode will therefore be a very welcome feature.

It wasn't all IE11 at Build, however. Microsoft announced a new dialogue between the IE team and the community as the company begins work on IE12. It invited feedback through its @IEDevChat Twitter account.