Touting its latest version of Internet Explorer, with its many new benefits, as possibly the best browser available, Microsoft is attempting to shore up those claims with new testing tools for the new release.
Microsoft announced that with the release of Internet Explorer 11 Preview as part of the Windows 8.1 Preview, the company has updated the IE Testing Center to include new test cases for the standards supported in IE11, advancing browser interoperability.
At its recent Build 2013 conference, Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, gushed on about the new features in IE11 and how it is built for touch. He also compared the experience of IE11 on Windows 8.1 to that of other browsers on other devices.
"When you put an old browser and an old browser UI on any of these shiny new devices—on a tablet, on a hybrid, on any of these things—you're going to run into some problems," Hachamovitch said. "You're going to run into a little bit of fail. You're going to notice when you browse with these other browsers that you don't have the responsiveness or performance that you want.
"There are all these sites that don't quite work with touch—they work great with mouse, but they don't quite work with touch. It's really hard to use sites and apps together on these other things. In fact, it's really hard just to see two web pages at the same time, which is disappointing. Tabs are limited, not just in quantity, but in terms of what you can do with them and how you interact with them. And it just gets more disappointing when you jack in a mouse and a keyboard, because it doesn't do what you expect from a notebook or from a full PC."
If you compare the "limitations and the limited experience" you find on these other devices with these other browsers with what you get on Windows 8.1 with IE 11, "the comments I've been getting is that it looks like the Web is the killer app," Hachamovitch said. "With the right browser on the right device, the Web really is the killer app."
In addition, with IE11 users can have 100 tabs without really costing them battery or performance or memory in a significant way, he said.
Moreover, "It's perfect for touch," Hachamovitch said of the new release of IE. "It's got stick-to-your-finger responsiveness. It makes sure you can do with touch everything you want to do with it. There are a lot of industry firsts in IE 11 around using the GPU for panning and zooming and for images. It's a lot easier for developers to deliver absolutely stunning apps and absolutely stunning sites."
Microsoft also completely revamped its IE development tools, known as F12 tools. The F12 tools enable iterative, visual debugging and tuning of Web sites, Hachamovitch said.
"The new F12 in IE 11 makes it easier for developers to build modern Web experiences that work across devices," said Rey Bango, a Web developer evangelist at Microsoft. "For developers that aren't on Windows, we have other tools available at modern.ie. This is a site designed to make cross-browser and cross-device development easier. Developers can go here and enter their own site's address directly into modern.ie and kick off an automatic scan to look for known issues and get tips on best practices. Developers can also download VMs for testing on multiple IE versions."
IE11 also supports hardware-accelerated 3D Web graphics.
"Interoperable WebGL experiences run on all devices, taking advantage of GPU acceleration," Hachamovitch said in a blog post on IE11. "IE11 scans for unsafe WebGL content and implements a software-based renderer to complement the GPU. With Windows, graphics subsystem failures are not fatal, and WebGL continues to run. With IE11, your 3D experiences can access device orientation to create new interaction opportunities for immersive Web content."