Microsoft has released a version of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser that offers users a sneak peek of tools the firm is working on, but which runs alongside IE11 instead of replacing it.
Available to download now, Internet Explorer Developer Channel is a fully functioning browser designed to give developers and early adopters a preview of features and technologies Microsoft is planning for future IE releases.
The move is possibly intended to counter the perception that Microsoft is moving slower than other browser developers, notably Google and Mozilla. These two also offer separate beta and developer versions of their browser, which are updated frequently.
Announcing the release on Microsoft's official IEBlog, Microsoft said it intends to continue to share early code through the IE Developer Channel as it works on new features and standards.
All of the new features can also be seen listed on a new portal, Status.Modern.IE, which Microsoft has made available to communicate its roadmap for interoperable web platform features.
The build also uses application virtualisation to enable it to run alongside a user's existing install of IE, as Microsoft's partner group programme manager for IE Jason Weber explained.
"This release of the IE Developer Channel uses a combination of code changes and virtualisation to run alongside IE11. This virtualisation creates a small performance hit, so we don't recommend you use this version to measure your site's performance. We also don't recommend you install this version in your enterprise environment," he wrote.
An online FAQ contains a list of the features that are new in this specific IE Developer Channel build.
The Developer Channel is available for download for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1 users who are already running IE 11, Microsoft said.
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