Microsoft details its Metro style Internet Explorer

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In another Building Windows 8 blog post by Steven Sinofsky, we learn about Microsoft’s plans for improving the experience of the web browser. Microsoft plans on re-inventing Internet Explorer by having one browsing engine powering two different Internet Explorer skins. One of them being a Metro-styled Internet Explorer.

“Our approach in Windows 8 starts with one great HTML5 browsing engine that powers two different experiences. The single engine provides strong support for web standards, hardware-accelerated performance, security, privacy, and more. Then, we built two experiences on top of that engine: a new Metro style experience as well as a more traditional, current-generation desktop browser with tabs and relatively minimal chrome,” Sinofsky states.

In Windows 8, the new Internet Explorer will have two experiences, powered by one engine. “Because great HTML5 support on both desktop IE and the Metro style IE is so important, we adapted the IE10 engine’s architecture to power both experiences. The two experiences share browsing history, typed addresses, settings, and more. The common engine delivers a consistently fast, safe, and powerful experience for today’s sites as well as Metro style applications.” The bottom line here is that there is only one browsing engine, but two different Internet Explorer skins.

From what Sinofsky is saying, browsing a webpage in a Metro styled Internet Explorer offers no visual distractions. By using standard gestures to get to functionality, you can avoid distractions. For example, users can search and share from Metro styled Internet Explorer by using “charms.” “You can use the Devices charm, for example, to play and project videos from web pages to external devices. You can ‘snap’ IE side-by-side with another Metro style application. Using websites and Metro style apps together is easy because we built them to work together.”

Microsoft hopes to make the new Metro styled Internet Explorer an easier experience to get to your important websites with less typing. The new IE will feature a “touch-friendly, visual list of your frequent and pinned websites when you open a new tab or bring up the address bar. Typing in the address bar filters this list. When you bring up your open tabs, the address bar is immediately available so you can get to the site you want if it’s not already open.”

Users can also pin their favorite websites to the new Windows 8 start screen.

“Just as a reminder: the Metro style browser in the current Windows Developer Preview is for developers, not consumers. There is work ahead with the developer community to make the experience consumer-ready,” Sinofsky emphasizes.

Take a look at the visual demonstration below: