All major web browsers for the Windows platform with the exception of Microsoft's Internet Explorer offer test versions for users interested in cutting edge features.
Two of the core ideas behind making these test versions available is to involve the community when it comes to bug testing and reporting, and to provide web developers with advanced versions of the browser to give them ample time to test services and applications.
Microsoft announced just a moment ago that it is making available a Developer version of Internet Explorer. The developer version gives developers and early adopters a sneak peek of upcoming browser features.
The Internet Explorer Developer Channel is available for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 provided that Internet Explorer 11 is already running on those systems.
The browser itself runs independent from the stable version of Internet Explorer 11 installed on the system so that both browsers can in theory by run together at the same time without interfering with each other.
The first Developer Version of Internet Explorer ships with several enhanced Developer Tools and other features that Microsoft has integrated in it.
As far as new features are concerned, here is a short list of what is being made available in the new version:
- Event breakpoints can now be set in the debugger of the Developer Tools.
- Memory and UI responsiveness profilers are now available.
- Additional keyboard shortcuts, specifically Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+] are now available which let you navigate back and forward between tools you have used. Other shortcuts include Ctrl-L to clear the console or F6 to navigate around in a tool
- New dropbox to switch to document mode without leaving the current tool.
- Images loaded by a resource can now be previewed directly
- WebDriver support has been added which allows you to automate web browser actions to test websites and applications.
- Support for the GamePad API is now available as well which means that Xbox controllers and other controllers can now be used.
Internet Explorer Developer Channel download
You can download 32-bit or 64-bit editions of the IE Developer Channel from Microsoft's Download Center:
A restart of the computer may required to complete the installation of the developer version of Internet Explorer. A prompt was displayed to restart the PC on Windows 7 while the web browser was loaded right away on Windows 8.1.
A quick test on HTML5Test reveals only marginal improvements in the score. The developer channel version scored 378 points out of 555 on Windows 8.1 while the stable IE version on the same system 372.