Internet Explorer 10 finally arrives on Windows 7

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Windows 7 users have had access to a release preview of Internet Explorer 10 for a few months now, but now Microsoft is making the final release available on the platform for the first time since the browser’s debut on Windows 8. The new version is said to provide up to a 20% speed increase over Internet Explorer 9 as well as more support for modern web standards.

Feature-wise, Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 will be nearly identical to its Windows 8 counterpart, although the user interface is largely the same as version 9. It has the controversial Do Not Track option turned on by default, preventing advertisers from having automatically tracking users’ behavior online. It also includes support for the Pointer Events touch API and hardware acceleration using Direct2D and DirectWrite, which will require a platform update to bring Windows 7's version of these APIs in line with Windows 8.

Download: Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 (English) | Other languages

Other notable features include integrated spell checking and auto-correct, improved JavaScript performance, and support for 30 new standards covering HTML5, CSS3 and Web Application specifications. There’s also a focus on battery life improvements for mobile PCs. As Ars Technica notes, pretty much the only major difference is that IE10 for Windows 7 will continue to use Adobe's updater for Flash, whereas Windows 8’s version includes an embedded version of Flash that gets its updates from Windows Update.

Although the browser is available for download right now Microsoft will be pushing the new version through Windows Update over the coming months. Anyone with the release preview installed will see IE10 as an "important" update, which means it will install silently and automatically under Windows Update’s default configuration. Those on IE9 should start seeing IE10 as an important update shortly thereafter, too.

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