Internet Explorer is a graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Windows and requires a Windows license to run on your computers. First release date was in 1995 for Windows 95. As part of Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer is one of the most widely used web browsers. Growing popularity of operating systems such as OS X, Linux and Android which does not run on Internet Explorer caused a serious decline of usage share against other browsers.
The Internet Explorer project was started in the summer of 1994 by Thomas Reardon. List of earlier versions of Internet Explorer and their release dates below:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 1
Microsoft Internet Explorer 1 was released for Windows 95 on 16 August 1995.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 2
Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 was released for Windows 95, Windows NT 3.5, and NT 4.0 on 22 November 1995
Microsoft Internet Explorer 3
Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 was released on 13 August 1996 for Windows 95 OSR 2.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 was released in September 1997 for Windows 95 or Windows NT.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 was released on 18 March 1999 for Windows 98 Second Edition.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released on 27 August 2001 for Windows XP.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
Windows Internet Explorer 7 was released on 18 October 2006 for Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
Windows Internet Explorer 8 was released on 19 March 2009 for Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9
Windows Internet Explorer 9 was released on 14 March 2011 for Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7.
Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 became generally available on October 26, 2012 alongside Windows 8 and for Windows 7 on February 26.
Internet Explorer 11
Internet Explorer 11 is featured in a Windows 8.1 update which was released on October 17, 2013.
Internet Explorer Features
- Faster web browsing. Allows network requests to prioritize content, connecting users to information faster than ever before. Plus, with the new SPDY/3 support, Internet Explorer 11 Preview can provide faster and more efficient browsing, even over slow networks.
- Fast and fluid navigation. Back swipe feels instant with smarter web page caching, and with prefetch and prerender, many forward navigations (like getting to search results) feel instant as well.
- Rich, hyper-fast 2D and 3D experiences. Supports the emerging Web Graphics Library (WebGL) standards, lighting up games and other interactive content, while still maintaining security, reliability, and performance. In addition, the interactive content in Internet Explorer 11 is now hardware-accelerated for DirectX 9 and later, including a software fallback option.
- Great on all your screens, large and small. Supports gyroscope input and display orientation lock, making Internet Explorer 11 great for tablets. And, with side-by-side browsing, multi-monitor support, and high pixels per inch (PPI) scaling, Internet Explorer 11 is also great for large screens.
- Improved compatibility. Internet Explorer 11 improves compatibility with web standards, other browsers, and real-world websites. There’s updated support for popular web standards and changes that prevent older websites from displaying incorrectly.
Features for users
- Perfect for touch. Includes enhanced support for consumers using touch-based devices, including touch-based drag-and-drop, hover, and active link highlighting. Grouping together the navigation and tabs provides better control, with support for up to 100 open tabs per window.
- Pinned sites. Enhances pinned sites to support Live Tiles, letting your content update dynamically and creating a more personalized Startscreen. Using Live Tiles with Internet Explorer 11 blurs the line, creating an active and seamless experience between apps and web apps.
- Seamless integration. Internet Explorer 11 seamlessly integrates with Windows 8.1, enabling new ways to experience websites, including being able to use the Search charm to accelerate web searches.
- Syncing across devices. Syncs your open Internet Explorer 11 tabs across multiple devices, so that when you open Internet Explorer on another device, you see the same tabs. You also have the option to sync your browsing history and typed URLs, favorites/bookmarks, user-configured settings, and passwords.
- Click to call. Automatically changes phone numbers into clickable links for apps that work with phone numbers, such as Skype
Features for IT professionals
- Enhanced Protected Mode (EPM) and AppContainer turned on by default. Prevents pages from reading or writing to the protected parts of the operating system in both the immersive and desktop environments.
- Adobe Flash included in the platform. Adobe Flash is available out-of-the-box for Windows 8.1 Preview. It can run on both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer for the desktop, with management happening through Automatic Updates and Group Policy, so you can use one update mechanism for all of Internet Explorer.
- New Group Policy settings. Introduces these new Group Policy settings, while still supporting all of the previous Group Policy settings back to Internet Explorer 9.
- Turn off Page Prediction
- Turn on the swiping motion for Internet Explorer for the desktop
- Allow Microsoft services to provide more relevant and personalized search results
- Turn off phone number detection
- Allow Internet Explorer to use the SPDY/3 network protocol
- Do Not Track (DNT) exceptions. Enhances user privacy by not allowing websites to track users, by default. Internet Explorer 11 lets websites ask for an exception from the user based on the DNT exceptions API, which if granted, creates an exception that allows headers to be sent to the website to allow tracking. This relationship allows users to develop a trusted relationship with the site, regarding privacy.
Features for developers
- Modern web standards. Internet Explorer 11 supports more web-based standards than ever before, including:
- Canvas 2D L2 extensions
- Full screen API
- Encrypted media extensions
- Media source extensions
- CSS flexible box layout module
- Mutation observers like DOM4 and 5.3
With these new standards you can use the same markup language across the multiple browsers that are available
- New F12 Developer Tools. These tools have all been completely rebuilt. You can use them to debug code, solve display issues, improve performance, and increase the stability of your webpages. All of the tools have a cleaner user interface, improved functionality, and an easier and faster overall workflow, including the new Responsiveness, Memory, and Emulation tools.
- Perfect for touch. Internet Explorer 11 introduces the msZoomTo method for animated scrolling effects, even more finely-tuned controls for panning and zooming on sites or in Windows Store apps, and several updates to Pointer Events.
- Improved HTML5 video. Internet Explorer 11 also takes HTML5 video to new levels with support for new and emerging standards-based features in the areas of adaptive streaming, content protection, and captioning.
You can upgrade your Internet Explorer for free.
If you are looking for older versions of Internet Explorer, You can download all available versions of Internet Explorer for your operating systems from Microsoft Download Center.