Internet Explorer 10/11

Internet Explorer (IE) 10 is the default browser in Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Server 2012. Internet Explorer 10 and later comes in two different versions: one for the Windows UI and one for the desktop mode.

Internet Explorer 10 and later for the Windows UI provide a plug-in free browsing experience. Plug-in programs for web browsing previously followed no set standards and consequently, the quality of the code employed by these plug-in programs is variable. Plug-ins also require the use of more system resources and increase the risk of malware infection.

Microsoft has developed Internet Explorer 10 and later for the Windows UI to follow new standards-based technologies to replace the previously used plug-in solutions. The following table lists the technologies that Internet Explorer 10 and later use instead of older plug-in technology.

Table 1. Comparison of Standards-based Technologies to Plug-in Programs

Capability

World Wide Web (W3C) Standard Technology

Example Plug-in Equivalents

Video and audio

HTML5 video and audio

  • Flash

  • Apple QuickTime

  • Silverlight

Graphics

  • HTML5 canvas

  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

  • Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (CSS3) Transitions and Animations

  • CSS Transforms

  • Flash

  • Apple QuickTime

  • Silverlight

  • Java applets

Offline storage

  • Web storage

  • File API

  • IndexedDB

  • Application cache API

  • Flash

  • Java applets

  • Google Gears

Network communication, resource sharing, file uploading

  • HTML Web Messaging

  • Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS)

  • Flash

  • Java applets

Microsoft has also developed a plug-in compatible Internet Explorer 10 and later version solely for the desktop mode. If users in Windows UI mode encounter a website that requires the use of additional plug-in programs, a notification displays in Internet Explorer 10 and later prompting users to switch to desktop mode. Once in desktop mode, users can view websites requiring the use or installation of third-party plug-in programs.