Microsoft Unveils Developer Edition of Internet Explorer

It includes updates to F12 developer tools and, for the first time, support for the WebDriver standard.

Windows-focused developers no longer have to wonder about the new features in the next version of Microsoft's browser. Through the new Internet Explorer Developer Channel, they'll know exactly what's coming down the pike.

The channel was announced on the IEBlog by Jason Weber, an Internet Explorer Program Manager. It's a fully-functioning browser that works, for now, via a "combination of code changes and virtualization," Weber wrote, meaning that using the browser to check site performance would be a bad idea. Other than that, though, the channel offers a lot of features that will interest developers:

  • It's the first time Microsoft has supported the WebDriver standard within IE. John Jansen, Principal Quality Lead, said that some of the supported features for WebDriver include opening a session; automated basic functionality against pages; and getting test results.
  • Numerous updates to the F12 developer tools, including: the UI; console; DOM explorer; debugger; emulation tool; and UI responsiveness and memory profiling tools.
  • The Gamepad API, an emerging JavaScript standard that adds gamepad support to Web apps. "Developers can query the position of the thumb sticks, know which buttons are pressed, and listen for connect and disconnect events," according to Microsoft's Matt Esquivel, writing on the Developer Channel site.
  • WebGL, another JavaScript API for 2-D and 3-D animation. The channel adds support for "instancing extension, 16-bit textures, GLSL builtin variables, and triangle fans," Weber blogged.

The Developer Channel is available for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1 users. Microsoft cautioned against installing it in an enterprise environment. It's the first developer edition of IE the company's ever produced.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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