Microsoft reveals more info on IE11 in Windows Phone 8.1

The release of the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 in April included a version of Internet Explorer 11 made just for the OS. In a new post on the IE blog, Microsoft offers up more details about what the web browser team put into the Windows Phone 8.1 build.

The post talks at length about how the team made IE11 so that users could quickly get to the websites they wanted to read. The browser will display a list of a user's most frequently visited sites when they first press the address bar and then offer predictions when a URL is typed into the bar. IE11 allows users to open an unlimited number of tabs and people who also own a Windows 8.1 PC or tablet will be able to sync their IE11 favorites, history, passwords and open tabs with the Windows Phone 8.1 counterpart.

IE11 allows for some websites to be pinned to the Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen and those pages are updated in the background with their latest news and images, instead of just seeing a static tile. There's also support for in-line video playback so that people who surf to YouTube.com on IE11 can watch the video and read comments at the same time. Microsoft will offer more information on how website developers can support live pinned tiles and in-line video in the near future.

Windows Phone 8.1 with IE11 supports Reading View, just like the Windows 8.1 version, and also remembers website passwords. IE11 can now save downloaded files and supports InPrivate tabs, which means any data from that tab is deleted when it is closed. People who have a limited data plan can now turn on High Savings mode, which only downloads the most important content of a website. In the screenshots above, the New York Times front page is shown in regular IE11 mode on the left and with High Savings Mode activated on the right.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

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40 Comments

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Battery life has really taken a hit, but I suspect it will be better when the proper firmware/drivers are released. I hope.

xankazo said,
Battery life has really taken a hit, but I suspect it will be better when the proper firmware/drivers are released. I hope.

The only big problem with such "hoping" thing is, that either it will be fixed with the firmware, or the root of these issues lies in the OS deep deep down, and no magical firmware update will be able to fix any of those problems. People tend to believe when they dont understand a technical topic, then things like firmware updates will automagically fix all issues of the world. A capacitor is dried, soldering cracked, issue in the CPU instruction set? No problem, firmware will fix it!
When in fact its quite limited what you can fix or workaround design defects or hardware issues. Firmware update is not a magic cure for all defects.

big beff I have with this software is battery life took a nosedive when using IE11. maybe it really needs the nokia firmware update but with WP8.0 I had come to expect all day battery life with moderate to heavy use. Now it is like back on android where magically drains away and if I actually use it, I will need to worry about charging it and making it past the day. step backwards.

korupt_one said,
battery life and other small things like that will come down to a firmware update that optimises the phone hardware for the os.

That is what I hope; right now if I enable Cortana and the location service my battery, with a very light use, last 7/8 hours.

That inline video is the worst thing they did in 8.1. The old video player was limited, but at least it worked. With this new video player, there's no telling. Either the video wouldn't play at all, crash or won't go into full screen mode no matter what you do. Besides I never got the point of scrubbing on a touch screen. You have no idea where the seeker would land under your finger. The skip back/forward buttons in the old player were perfect.

I like changing the position in the video by sliding. It's a great thing it was added. But the new video player is ugly, is buggy, and only works in IE11. All other video players are the same as before, working but not doing much.

Umm... the inline video is one of the greatest things added. But the great thing was they gave the option to go full screen if you want that too. Now you can view comments while watching, etc. It even shows inline in Weave (RSS readers)... pretty sweet!

I'm liking it. Not as stable as previous versions (yay preview/beta!), but better overall. Even plays nice with vBulletin sites which ie10 didn't for me. My only complaint is it ceases to crash when I turn on the diagnostic app :/

Even with all these updates, Windows Phone is just too late to the party. There's nothing they can do to help it grow. Even if they open source it (which is never), devs wouldn't even care anymore.

Microsoft should just give up and find other untapped markets or create new markets for something else. Wearables, AI, home automation, etc.

cetla said,
Even with all these updates, Windows Phone is just too late to the party. There's nothing they can do to help it grow. Even if they open source it (which is never), devs wouldn't even care anymore.

Microsoft should just give up and find other untapped markets or create new markets for something else. Wearables, AI, home automation, etc.

Beyond your opinions... Enterprise needs a more secure mobile OS, and Android and iOS do not come close to meeting these needs. So even if WP goes away, BB or some other more 'locked' OS model will be needed to replace it.

That's an invalid argument. Companies have already adopted iPhone in masses or allowing BYOD policy. Even the US military is adopting android, so much for MS security prowess.

And it took WP 3 years to include an essential VPN feature, so I don't see how MS cares about corporates users.

cetla said,
That's an invalid argument. Companies have already adopted iPhone in masses or allowing BYOD policy. Even the US military is adopting android, so much for MS security prowess.

And it took WP 3 years to include an essential VPN feature, so I don't see how MS cares about corporates users.

Go pull up security certification as a start. It is a valid argument.

There are Android and iOS deployments, but that is because they weren't going to gamble on WP at the time, and it was before BB had a new offering.

cetla said,
Even with all these updates, Windows Phone is just too late to the party. There's nothing they can do to help it grow. Even if they open source it (which is never), devs wouldn't even care anymore.

Microsoft should just give up and find other untapped markets or create new markets for something else. Wearables, AI, home automation, etc.

No no, Microsoft is already planning to dominate those markets. Start making products a potential Windows Phone could aid. Slowly people will start to come. You can't possibly expect Microsoft to come out with a product and expect instant change. Esp with a company as powerful as Apple but you can bet on sustainability from Micro. I think 15 years on the phone market is short considering the measured impact on the phone in today's days. Of course with tech changing, we may not even use phones in 20, but the way I see it, we probably still will be using some variation of the "phone" we know today.

cetla said,
Even with all these updates, Windows Phone is just too late to the party. There's nothing they can do to help it grow. Even if they open source it (which is never), devs wouldn't even care anymore.

Microsoft should just give up and find other untapped markets or create new markets for something else. Wearables, AI, home automation, etc.


You're wrong :)

It's invalid, MS isn't the only one controlling certs.

And now that corporate industries adopted iPhone and Android, they have already built an extended infrastructure for both. The switching costs to WP is enough to scare even new companies looking for company phones. Small companies tend to do BYOD, so WP is essentially dead in both corporate and consumer sectors.

cetla said,
Even with all these updates, Windows Phone is just too late to the party. There's nothing they can do to help it grow. Even if they open source it (which is never), devs wouldn't even care anymore.

Microsoft should just give up and find other untapped markets or create new markets for something else. Wearables, AI, home automation, etc.

There's plenty to help it grow! You just refuse to see those reasons.

cetla said,
It's invalid, MS isn't the only one controlling certs.

And now that corporate industries adopted iPhone and Android, they have already built an extended infrastructure for both. The switching costs to WP is enough to scare even new companies looking for company phones. Small companies tend to do BYOD, so WP is essentially dead in both corporate and consumer sectors.

Um, Microsoft controlling certs? I don't think you have a clue what I was talking about.

cetla said,
It's invalid, MS isn't the only one controlling certs.

And now that corporate industries adopted iPhone and Android, they have already built an extended infrastructure for both. The switching costs to WP is enough to scare even new companies looking for company phones. Small companies tend to do BYOD, so WP is essentially dead in both corporate and consumer sectors.

Yeah, but now with Microsoft focusing on mobile market, the applications created for cloud solutions, server solutions, and office solutions can have a chance of becoming better on native software. And if not they will still rake in profit from other devices which can still give them a little freedom with WP if it does in fact start to die out. With small business I must agree with you, BUT we may see something similar with what Micro did with tablets under 9" and Windows phone. Offer windows for free or as a service. They have options. Honestly as far as I'm concerned Apple and Micro are the only people in the industry that will win the mobile market over. it's Android that needs to be killed off, but very unlikely considering I can build a phone myself (not personally but maybe if I started a company) and why install software I can use for free as long as I don't use Google App licensing. Plus I'm sure licensing Google play store doesn't cost as much as a Windows Phone License did previously.

and if you haven't noticed windows phone is still the fastest growing mobile platform there is, marketshare may still be low, but quarter by quarter and year on year growth is very fast.

A lot of major companies infrastructure is ms based and a lot switching to ms based cloud services, not too hard to deploy wp into their companies, much harder for them to do it with iPhone and android.

Lots of discussion here, but no one said anything about how WP is going to grow beyond 3%. Corporate growth is nonsense, that boat left a long time ago along with the consumer. If MS cared, they would have 3 years ago.

Microsoft should forget their mobile platform dream and return to do what they do best, softwares and services. They should continue to follow Office lead and offer all their services to every platforms. Why should something future-essential like Cortana be stucked on Windows Phone when they could offer it on Android and iOS and gather 1000-folds more research data. The Bing platform could evolve into the best AI system if Microsoft is smart.

I could see Microsoft practically empowering Siri and take over that team if Microsoft should make a deal with Apple. Google Now...not so much.

Edited by cetla, May 8 2014, 3:51am :

I truly hope the developer preview is not the final product (and I don't mean in a minor way). First time I see IE11 crash, and such sluggishness from WP. And yes, I did a hard reset.

Agreed! My phone has become slow, the Music app is unusable, multitasking takes time, and many apps just crash. Hope we'll see major (and needed) improvements in the RTM.

primortal said,
According to Joe Belfiore's Reddit AMA the developers preview isn't the final product.

http://www.reddit.com/r/window...dows_phone_team_ama/ch7ud3b


I don't have high expectations from that comment for many reasons. The software is RTM, which means we can only expect minor fixes and firmware updates (for the latter, some of us will need to wait months until the carriers deploy them). The issues are so widespread that at this point, I am just hoping it's just an issue of "debugging code" being enabled in the preview or something like that.

tanybeen said,
I truly hope the developer preview is not the final product (and I don't mean in a minor way). First time I see IE11 crash, and such sluggishness from WP. And yes, I did a hard reset.

I am not having these problems. WP8.1 has been great. Fast, fluid, stable. IE11 is slow. Maybe I am not seeing lag cause its the 928 or I did a refresh after I installed it?

Scabrat said,

I am not having these problems. WP8.1 has been great. Fast, fluid, stable. IE11 is slow. Maybe I am not seeing lag cause its the 928 or I did a refresh after I installed it?

The 928 is higher-end. My 620 has slowed considerably.

Of course, I didn't do a refresh after I installed it.

tanybeen said,
I truly hope the developer preview is not the final product (and I don't mean in a minor way). First time I see IE11 crash, and such sluggishness from WP. And yes, I did a hard reset.

Strange as I had no issues on my HTC 8X besides battery drainage.

Hadrien01 said,
Agreed! My phone has become slow, the Music app is unusable, multitasking takes time, and many apps just crash. Hope we'll see major (and needed) improvements in the RTM.

Well don't blame it on the OS, this could very well be on the hardware side of things. My wife 920 is blazing since 8.1 and I have not seen any issues with it and neither has she told me of any.

nickcruz said,

Well don't blame it on the OS, this could very well be on the hardware side of things. My wife 920 is blazing since 8.1 and I have not seen any issues with it and neither has she told me of any.


Just now on my 925, I pressed the Windows key and the reaction was instant (good!), and then pressed to launch the message app. I had to view a "loading..." screen for 1-2 secs, followed by a blank screen for another 1-2 secs, and then the messaging app launched. Also many apps "resume..." all the time, and they didn't on WP8.0.

tanybeen said,

I don't have high expectations from that comment for many reasons. The software is RTM...

It's not a true RTM compared to last time. Hence why he said it's not final yet. Also, firmware makes a HuGE difference.