Microsoft Unveils Internet Explorer 11, Officially with WebGL Capabilities

The Big Unveiling

There’s a lot to pore over in the official demos of Internet Explorer 11. The IE team at Microsoft has sought to make the newest iteration “fast, fluid, and perfect for touch,” said Internet Explorer corporate vice president Dean Hachamovitch.

IE11 in action, with side-by-side browsing.
Side by side website pages

There’s a whole laundry list. But the biggest news for web developers is a little five-word phrase: “hardware accelerated 3D web graphics.” In other words, WebGL capabilities.

WebGL is confirmed; IE11 supports it.

.net Magazine reported the confirmation, quoting VP Hachamovitch on the most exciting new component:

“Interoperable WebGL experiences run on all devices, taking advantage of GPU acceleration. IE11 scans for unsafe WebGL content and implements a software-based renderer to complement the GPU….With Windows, graphics subsystem failures are not fatal, and WebGL continues to run. With IE11, your 3D experiences can access device orientation to create new interaction opportunities for immersive web content.”

Officials confirmed this and many other new features and functions for IE11, finally, at the Microsoft Build 2013 in late June. The new release will also come with a slew of new developer tools that have the community excited to start building high-performance Web experiences in and for the Internet Explorer browser, for use on Windows devices. At long last.

In case you missed it, see the whole list of new features in IE11, unveiled to Build attendees.

What new features got you most excited for IE11? Think there’s still more to be done? Start the debate below.