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Microsoft talks Metro-style web browsing with IE10

Posted at 15 September 2011 13:00 CET by Justin_Massoud

Following the launch of a developers-only Windows 8 preview on Tuesday, Microsoft delved deeper into the future of its popular web browser. Internet Explorer 10’s third platform preview was also included in the aforementioned build, allowing developers more hands-on time with its unique Metro-style layout. The ultimate goal for IE10, said Stephen Sinofsky, Windows Live president, is a “a truly chromeless browsing experience.”

Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President of Internet Explorer, detailed the inclusion of a Metro-style browser (seen above) in IE10. The design famously takes its inspiration (.pdf) from the signs and symbols found in modern metro stations.

“Our approach in Windows 8 starts with one great HTML5 browsing engine that powers two different experiences,” wrote Hachamovitch at the Building Windows 8 blog. “The single engine provides strong support for web standards, hardware-accelerated performance, security, privacy, and more. Then, we built two experiences on top of that engine.”

Those two experiences are the newfangled touch-first Metro-style interface, and “a more traditional, current-generation desktop browser with tabs.” The former’s bold typography and strong visual flair is a step towards increased immersion (.PDF) said Microsoft:

The Metro style UI that fuels the clean aesthetic and experience of Internet Explorer puts the emphasis on your favorite sites, not the browser. The navigation bar appears only when you ask for it, and the touch keyboard is intelligently integrated into the browsing experience, with Snap and charms just a swipe away offering quick access to the most common tasks.

Hachamovitch said performance, HTML5 support and safety are the three key factors that define the Metro-style experience.

“Because great HTML5 support on both desktop IE and the Metro style IE is so important, we adapted the IE10 engine’s architecture to power both experiences,” he said. “The two experiences share browsing history, typed addresses, settings, and more. The common engine delivers a consistently fast, safe, and powerful experience for today’s sites as well as Metro style applications.”

Windows 8’s Metro-style browser will also boast website pinning, “charm”-based search and sharing, touch-panning and pinch-to-zoom.

Dismissing potential criticism that the company’s decision to include both browsing options is a mistake, Hachamovitch argued that choice isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Pessimists may criticize what they will call ‘two browsers,'” he explained. “There’s only one browsing engine, which you can use with two different ‘skins.'”

Hachamovitch believes Metro-style will become the go-to choice for most users, but that people who preferred traditional browsing were certainly not being left in a lurch. “You can set your default to either style, seamlessly switch between them, or use any other browser you choose on Windows 8,” he said.

Do you prefer standard browsers, or love the Metro-themed alternative? Let us know in the comment section.

There are 6 comments

MyCE Member
Posted on: 16 Sep 11 18:17
    Another nice thing about IE10 is that is has a built in spell checker that runs when typing in these comment boxes on the internet. I think Windows 8 looks pretty good as a whole, considering this is only a pre-beta developer's preview, and it's only been out for a day. (If you download and install it, there are already a couple updates available at Windows Update.) I even like the customizable tile thingies (even though I don't have a touchscreen monitor), but before I installed Windows 8 yesterday, I thought they were pretty dumb.
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 16 Sep 11 20:22
      Crap plus crap equals crap.
      Crap squared equals crap.
      Crap times crap equals crap.
      Notice a theme here?
      MyCE Member
      Posted on: 17 Sep 11 19:24
        Originally Posted by BradWright
        Another nice thing about IE10 is that is has a built in spell checker that runs when typing in these comment boxes on the internet.
        Is that something new to IE? Most other web browsers had spell checking for years.
        Senior Moderator
        Posted on: 18 Sep 11 21:18
          Originally Posted by olddancer
          Crap plus crap equals crap.
          Crap squared equals crap.
          Crap times crap equals crap.
          Notice a theme here?
          That means crap = 0


          Mr. Belvedere
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 19 Sep 11 09:10
            Originally Posted by mciahel
            That means crap = 0
            Or infinite.
            Senior Moderator
            Posted on: 19 Sep 11 21:22
              indeed, yes, you are right.


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