Microsoft offers touchscreen improvements for IE11 on Windows 8.1

Microsoft launched the first public version of Internet Explorer 11 as part of the Windows 8.1 preview release in June, and the new version of the browser contains a number of changes and improvements that have been made specifically for users who interact with it via a touchscreen, as touted in a blog post Thursday.

In the new blog post, Microsoft said that one of the changes concerns the use of hover menus on some websites, which have been designed to be used by a mouse. IE11 lets users with a touchscreen hover a finger over the menu to show its selections and tap on one of those choices to go to the designed site. You can see how this works in the video above.

The blog adds:

In addition to touch hover support, a new context menu command bar now appears at the bottom of the screen when you press and hold on a link. This allows for the command bar to display without interfering with the site’s hover menu if there is one. You can also quickly open pages in a new tab or window by accessing the buttons in the command bar.

IE11 also has put in better highlights to web URL links when a finger is pressed on them in a touchscreen PC or tablet, so users can better see the interaction with that link.

The new version also improves on navigation between webpages compared to IE10, where swiping a finger across the page would take the site to the previous or next page. IE11 suspends and caches the previous page in memory so when a user goes back to that page, it should resume instantaneously. In the cases where some pages cannot be put into memory, IE11 uses pre-render technology to speed up the loading process.

IE11 is also the first browser that natively supports touchscreens for the HTML 5 drag-and-drop specification. The support allows IE11 users to press and hold elements in a website that uses the HTML 5 drag-and-drop code with their finger. It also supports Microsoft's Pointer Events specifications, which allow for sites to support a number of different pointing devices, including multi-touch, pen and mouse hardware.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

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