Developers can try out new features of the next version of Internet Explorer using a test edition Microsoft has released for their use.
The Internet Explorer Developer Channel, which can be downloaded for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1, runs independently of the user’s copy of IE, allowing programmers to test the newest browser features without disrupting their current browser setup.
The Internet Explorer Developer Channel will offer an early version of IE while it is still being worked on by Microsoft programmers. Developers can preview features planned for the upcoming editions of the browser to help them better build Web applications and pages that use the new capabilities.
Microsoft also hopes that developers will offer feedback, so the company can better implement the pending features.
The developer version offers a sandbox-like testing environment so it does not interfere with the user’s IE browser profile. The browser does not run as quickly as the standard edition of IE and because it is a beta version, should not be used in production environments. The first Developer Channel release offers automated WebDriver testing, enhanced F12 developer tools, and Xbox controller support for web-based games.
With the test version, Microsoft is replicating the fast development environments used by other browser makers.
Mozilla offers nightly builds of the next version of the Firefox browser under development. Google also offers developer versions of its Chrome browser.
Microsoft plans to issue frequent updates to the test version of IE, announcing them through the DevChannel.Modern.IE developer resource site. Microsoft’s F12 Developer Tools were designed to help debug and optimize Web pages and Web applications.