The final gold release of IE10 is available for Windows 7. Microsoft has taken their time — it’s been four months since it appeared with Windows 8 — but it’s here now.
If you’ve been running the IE10 Release Preview, you should receive an update during the next few days. Those using IE9 will be automatically upgraded over the coming weeks. If you can’t wait, head over to windows.microsoft.com/ie and download a copy.
So why should you upgrade?
- Microsoft state that IE10 is 20% faster than IE9 — which is no slouch.
- IE10 supports 60% more web standards than IE9, including CSS3 transformations, animations, gradients, web sockets, the file API, pointer events, etc.
- A HTML5 test score of 320+6 / 500 and 100 / 100 Acid3 test result.
- Increased privacy controls and Do Not Track enabled by default.
- There’s nothing to lose. If IE9’s your favorite browser, you’ll love IE10. If you’re a web developer, it will become increasingly important to test IE10…
IE9 will die fairly rapidly once the Windows updates kick-in. Large organizations and governments may take some time to evaluate and deploy the new browser, but there are far fewer fundamental differences and obstacles than those we experienced between IE6, 7, 8 and 9. Within a few months, I would expect IE9’s market share of 16.9% to exchange places with IE10’s 1.2%. In addition, Windows 7 is the world’s most-used OS and it’s installed on more than 50% of desktops — IE10 deployments will increase accordingly.
It may have taken too long, but Microsoft has finally delivered a clean, fast, capable browser which supports the majority of modern HTML5 web standards. It’s not particularly exciting and IE10 offers few compelling reasons ditch your favorite application but, at the same time, there’s no reason to ridicule those who prefer it. Let’s just hope this is the first in a series of rapid updates; the standard IE two-year gestation period is far too slow.
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.