Windows 8 brings a new approach to browsing the Internet through Metro Internet Explorer (10)

By know you’ve heard that the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, is available as a free download from Microsoft for any adventuresome users who want to test drive the latest from Redmond.  With a ton of new features to go over, we were duly impressed with the new Metro version of Internet Explorer which we gave a shout out to in the developer preview of Windows 8.  We then took an in-depth look at it this week in this short video clip.  Today we want to examine the browsing experience in Windows 8 and briefly explain a feature that makes a lot of sense called View on the Desktop.

Choose Your Browser Wisely

Up till now, Microsoft has only bundled within Windows up to one version of Internet Explorer.  Windows 8 doubles the fun by giving us two choices of the same browser.  One is the classic Internet Explorer (version 10) and the other is a new full screen immersive browser called Metro IE which we showed you in this week’s Clip of the Week.  Metro IE provides all the main navigation keyboard shortcuts and mouse support you’ve come to expect – creating tabs, moving between tabs, closing tabs, entering addresses, searching, and more. It’s also very secure offering InPrivate Browsing, SmartScreen and Tracking Protection. 

On the other hand, browser add-ins are conspicuously absent from Metro IE.  Features like password managers or Java powered websites don’t work quite right…okay, they don’t work at all.  But this brings us to a novel approach embedded within the Metro IE browser and that’s a feature called View on the Desktop.

Launching View on the Desktop allows us to quickly pull up the same page we are looking at in Metro IE and view it in the classic desktop version of Internet Explorer 10.  This command is found to the right of the address bar on what looks like a small wrench with a circle around it.

In my informal testing I found this feature seamless and fast.  I was actually impressed with how easy it was to perform.  And since Favorites and History are shared between the browsers, there were no worries about retracing my steps.  The whole process was so easy that it wasn’t bothersome at all.  Interestingly, I found that I actually then would close the classic browser after I needed it and invariably pick up where I left off in Metro IE.  The speed, fluidity and simplicity of the Metro IE browser seemed a better way to access the Internet.

Other browser makers have taken notice of this too.  For a change, it’s possible that other browsers will begin copying what Microsoft’s IE has for users, rather than the other way around.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

Categories: Internet Explorer 10, Windows 8

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