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Windows 8.1 Pro Preview users will also get the chance to test drive the latest version of Internet Explorer. IE 11 will bring infinite and permanent tabs, website live tiles and better integration for opening links from apps. Let’s go over the changes you can expect in Internet Explorer 11.

Internet Explorer has changed many times over the years. When 3rd party users ran tests it always came out to be the safest browser to use. As for other the other aspects, Microsoft has tried to compete with the more popular browsers – like Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari – but with little interest from everyday Windows users.

When other browsers can do what IE should’ve been able to do from the start, Microsoft still has a lot of catching up to do. So, will IE 11 live up to the hype? Let’s take a look what IE 11 brings to the table.

What’s New In Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1

While you upgrade to IE 11 in the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview, most of the front end features won’t be introduced in the preview and instead will wait until the final release.

Optimized For Touch, Still Fast For PCs

With Windows 8 moving towards being more mobile-friendly, it’s no surprise IE 11 is, too. IE 11 was optimized for touchscreen devices but still will run faster for PC users.

Microsoft has focused on improving the responsiveness of IE with touch devices as well as the battery life IE seems to consume now on Windows RT devices. By utilizing the GPU to process swipes, panning, zooming and more, the responsiveness of all touch devices using Windows RT and IE 11 improves drastically.

IE 11 will introduce support for up to 100 tabs in the touchscreen and PC versions. You’ll have access to independent tab suspension as well as quick tab switching.

Custom live files for favorite websites – where the websites support it – will also be introduced allowing users to take advantage of the Modern UI design of Windows 8 and RT.

A new unified bookmarks bar will be shown at the bottom of your IE browser if enabled. This will be a list of “permanent” sites that you have access to at any time no matter what type of browsing you’ll do.

Immersive Browsing And Skype Integration

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Immersive browsing takes Windows 8’s Snap feature to a new level with IE 11. This allows you to browse as many websites as you want side-by-side, similar to how Snap works. This works for RT devices and PCs.

This feature also introduces the ability to browse tabs across devices and PCs through the use of SkyDrive cloud integration.

Integration is taken to another level with the use of Skype in IE 11.

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Phone numbers can be automatically recognized and called through Skype right in your browser window.

Better Interaction With Apps And Web Sites

Currently, in IE 10, if you’re using it as your default browser and open a link in a Windows 8 app, there’s a delay before it’s opened. IE 11 eliminates this issue and makes going back and forth seamless.

As more and more website adopt the technology behind Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 11, you’ll be able to take advantage of live tiles from your favorite websites. This allows you to pin a website to the Windows 8.1 Start screen and see a plethora of activity from the site.

There are a few Microsoft web sites enabled with this feature already, such as the MSN home page.

To pin a website to your Start screen, click on the “Gear Icon” in the top right-hand corner of IE 11.

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Then, click on “Add site to Apps.”

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As long as this is an option, the site is enabled to be pinned to the Start screen All Apps view this way.  If it’s grayed out, the site can’t be added through IE 11.  You’ll want to use this guide to pinning websites to the Start screen until they adopt the way IE 11 does it.

A pop-up will appear confirming your selection, click “Add” to add the website.

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Now, you can access the website from the “All Apps” view quickly.

Do Not Track Becomes Selective

Internet Explorer 11 will allow users to choose what websites and services can follow them and which can’t. Do Not Track will become selective for users, allowing them to choose the level of privacy within the browser instead of making it a blanket policy.

Development, Back End And Improvement Updates

IE 11 will integrate some of the latest technologies in web development, especially when it comes to the mobile version. Microsoft has focused on improvements in how IE 11 works with HTML5, GPU acceleration, WebGL and various 3D Web graphics.

It’s Modern.ie has been updated to help Web developers prepare for IE 11 and the future of the browser.

IE 11 Will Come To Windows 7

Microsoft has confirmed that IE 11 will come to Windows 7. If it follows the pattern that IE 10 did in its Windows 7 release, we can expect it about four months after Windows 8.1 goes live with IE 11 bundled in.

Troubleshooting Internet Explorer 11 Issues

There are a variety of IE 11 issues since it’s even less complete than Windows 8.1 is. We suggest following the Microsoft Support Forums on IE 11 to keep tabs of these issues. We’ll address anything major, including updates to IE 11 as they become available.  Keep this page bookmarked so you can learn more about IE 11 as it becomes available.

Can’t View OWA Inbox In Internet Explorer 11 Preview

Windows Update KB2866518 fixes issues users had with viewing their inboxes with Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA.)

Internet Explorer 11 Preview Freezes Or Crashes While Loading A Webpage That Contains Widgets

Windows Update KB2866512 corrects issues with IE 11 freezing when visiting websites that contain a variety of widgets.  Even widgets that can’t be seen by every user can cause IE 11 to freeze, crash or become unstable.  Normally, it took a full PC restart to correct the issue but now that this Windows Update is available, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Conclusion

Microsoft always seems to be playing catch-up with Internet Explorer in comparison to other browsers. Every so often, they get it right and with IE 11, it looks as if they’ve made a jump forward to truly catch up to what other browsers offer, especially on the back end.

While you may not notice much in Internet Explorer 11 with the Windows 8.1 preview, rest assured that when 8.1 goes live, IE 11 is sure to give Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers a true run for their money.

Please Note: Windows 8.1 and IE 11 are still in the beta phase, that’s why it’s a preview. IE 11 has literally no front end features enabled, yet but you may notice issues with performance regardless. Let us know in the comments, we’ll troubleshoot them with you!