Microsoft has released its Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) browser for Windows 7, promising users improved performance, security, privacy, reliability and greater support for HTML5 and open web standards.
The new IE10 is available to download immediately in 95 languages worldwide, and Microsoft said it will begin pushing it to Windows 7 users via a Windows Update in the weeks ahead, while those already running the IE10 Release Preview are set to be updated immediately.
Writing on Microsoft's IEBlog, Internet Explorer group program manager Rob Mauceri, said IE10 is typically 20 percent faster for accessing common websites than earlier releases of the browser.
IE10 brings increased support for modern web standards over IE9, according to Microsoft, including various cascading style sheet 3 (CSS3) rules for visual effects.
In particular, it supports an enhanced web programming model for offline applications through local storage with IndexedDB and the HTML5 Application Cache.
More controversially, Microsoft confirmed that the Do Not Track (DNT) flag is turned on by default in IE10 for Windows 7, a move that has previously angered many in the online advertising industry.
However, DNT is itself no more than a flag that the browser sets in the HTTP header field which indicates the user does not wish their browsing to be tracked. It is entirely up to the website whether this is honoured.
IE10 for Windows 7 has been a long time in coming; the first preview version of IE10 was released in April 2011, and it has been available on Windows 8 since that platform launched in October last year.
However, Mauceri said that its release expands the opportunities for HTML5 to make both web sites and applications better.
"Those opportunities are exciting for everyone on the Web. Like IE10 on Windows 8, this release brings high performance HTML5 development to Windows 7," he said.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.