Windows 8 May Have Two Browsers in Internet Explorer 10

By Ed Silverstein September 20, 2011

The Windows 8 operating system is expected to have two browsers in Internet Explorer 10, according to media reports.

One is a “metro” browser that is touch-friendly and the other is a more traditional desktop browser, news reports said.

The desktop Internet Explorer version supports Flash, according to MSNBC. But the Metro browser does not support Flash.

Also, the metro browser does not support plugins so users will have to go to the desired page via the desktop browser.

“It’s clear that Microsoft is banking on a one-size-fits-all approach with Windows 8, attempting to combine a touch-friendly front end with a traditional desktop computing experience for accommodating legacy apps,” comments MSNBC. “This is the complete opposite of Apple’s strategy, which for now has segregated its laptops and tablets by powering them with different operating systems: Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5.”

In addition, mobilebloom.com says that Windows 8 users can switch to plugins if they want something like DRM-protected media streaming.

“The desktop browser is not designed for touch inputs so the user will have to switch to keyboard and mouse or struggle with an interface that is not meant for fingers,” according to mobilebloom.com. “Switching from metro to desktop browser also seems to be discarding things like current page state and back button history.”

Plugins are not required for most applications, mobilebloom.com said. But DRM-protected video and some other apps may be difficult in HTML5, the site adds.

Windows 8 also has a “split personality” when it comes to settings.

“In Metro mode you’ll see a few options when you hit the Settings button (Network, Volume, Brightness), but to access more you’ll need to open the slick new Control Panel, which lets you tweak some but not all of your PC’s settings. Right at the bottom of that screen you’ll see an option that says More Settings that will dump you into the desktop environment and open the classic Control Panel,” MSNBC said. “Using two different apps to tweak settings feels odd.”

In other recent news, TechZone360 CTO Tom Keating notes that Windows 8 will sport the "ribbon interface" made famous in Microsoft Office.


Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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