Microsoft just a few seconds ago released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7. The web browser that got initially released for Windows 8 last year, and then later on as a preview version for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, has been much awaited by the Internet community.
It is important that Windows 7 users pick the right download of the web browser. The 32-bit version of Internet Explorer 10 can only be installed on 32-bit versions of Windows 7, while the 64-bit version is reserved to 64-bit versions. The 64-bit version is almost double in size with its 42.3 MB than the 32-bit version with its 22.0 MB.
The following system requirements are required to install IE10:;
- CPU: at least 1 GHz with support for PAE, NX and SSE2
- RAM: at least 512 MB of memory
- Hard Drive: at least 70 MB of storage space for 32-bit versions, and 120 MB for 64-bit versions
- Windows 7: Service Pack 1 installed
Please note that you may need to reboot your system before all functionality becomes available.
So what is new in IE10 for Windows 7? Microsoft back in October mentioned that the browser would offer better performance, developer capabilities, improved real-world site performance and better standards support than Internet Explorer 8 or 9 on the operating system.
The web browser is scoring 320 and 6 bonus points in the HTML5 test which gives an indication on how well - or not - HTML features are supported. That is a lot better than Internet Explorer 9's 138 and 5 bonus points but still trailing browsers such as Chrome 24 with its 448 and 13 bonus points, Opera 12.10 with its 419 and 9 bonus points or Firefox 19's 393 points and 10 bonus points. Still the gap has been closed considerable and that is a good sign for Internet Explorer users.
Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 does not ship with a native version of Adobe Flash which makes it similar to the desktop version of the browser on Windows 8 which also does not ship with native Flash support.
For users of IE8 or IE9, Internet Explorer 10 is definitely an improvement in many regards including performance and standards support. While Microsoft's browser is still trailing behind other browsers, and sometimes even in front depending on which benchmark and test you run, it is fair to say that the company managed to close a wide gap with the release.
Note that IE10 will not be released for Vista or previous client or server versions of the Windows operating system.
My personal recommendation: upgrade if you can even if you are not using Internet Explorer.
What's new in Internet Explorer 10
Apart from better web standards support and performance, IE10 users do benefit from a number of features that Microsoft added to the browser.
The browser supports Do Not Track now and sends the header by default to all sites you connect to. This caused some controversy with companies like Yahoo stating that they would not honor Microsoft's Do Not Track implementation. The core reason for that is that the feature has been designed as a conscious choice. To find the setting tap on the Alt key in the browser and select Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Security > Always send Do Not Track header.
The second feature worth writing about is the inclusion of a spell-checking and auto-correction module in the browser. Microsoft's Internet browser did not support spell checking up until now, and you had to resort to extensions such as IE7 Pro to add spell-checking to IE9 and previous versions.
Here is how you can disable the spelling correction feature of Internet Explorer if you find it too obtrusive. Tap on the Alt key again, and select Tools > Manage Add-ons from the menu at the top.
Here you find spelling correction listed under add-on types. The installed languages are displayed here by default. You can click on Get more Spelling Dictionaries online to install dictionaries for other languages. Here you can also disable the spelling correction feature.
Blocking automatic updates
If you do not want to use Internet Explorer 10 on your computer or network of PCs yet, you may be interested in blocking the automatic update delivery so that it is not automatically installed on the system.
Internet Explorer 32-bit or 64-bit?
Note that Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 runs in a 64-bit and 32-bit hybrid mode on 64-bit versions of Windows 7. To change that, enable Enhanced Protected Mode in the Internet Options. This breaks plugins that are only compatible with the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer.