Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, grab your copy now!

Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down. After unveiling a major update to Office Web Apps, today the software giant releases the stable version of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. The latest iteration of the popular browser debuted alongside Windows 8.1 in mid-October and like its predecessor it forgoes supporting older versions of the operating system.

And because Windows 8.1 is being offered as a free upgrade to Windows 8 users, and Microsoft expects everyone to take this step, Internet Explorer 11 is not officially available for the latter OS either. It is a Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 affair only, which speaks volumes of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to drastically reduce Windows XP's market share and push the two Internet Explorer 11-supported operating systems to the forefront.

Microsoft announces that users will be automatically upgraded in the coming weeks. Those who are already using the Developer or Release Preview of Internet Explorer will be upgraded starting today. Now let's take a look at what's new.

In Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, Microsoft has improved the performance of its browser, which is touted to be 30 percent faster for "real world websites" (presumably, compared to Internet Explorer 10 running on the same OS). Similarly, deployment is touted to be faster, with the browser including support for 25 new and improved modern Web standards.

Internet Explorer 11 also includes support for the "well-defined and commonly used features" of the ECMAScript 6 standard and the ECMAScript Internationalization API (for the first version at this point).

Speaking of standards, Microsoft says that: "The opportunities continue for HTML5 to make both websites and applications better. Those opportunities are exciting for everyone on the Web. Like IE11 on Windows 8.1, this release brings high performance HTML5 development to Windows 7".

Internet Explorer 11 is available to download (in 95 languages) from here.

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