Microsoft to overhaul IE Development tools?

Internet Explorer

Leaks of Microsoft’s next update to its Windows 8 Operating System continue on a regular basis, giving us glimpses of the changes the Redmond giant have in store. Code-named Windows 8.1, the latest build (Build 9385) leaked to the internet yesterday and has already been dissected by many for any noticeable changes.

IE11 Developer Tools

Perhaps the biggest change for those involved with any form of web development is the overhaul of the web developer tools included with Internet Explorer 11. Developer tools are included with most modern browsers (press F12 to access them) and allow for the viewing and modifying of HTML, JavaScript and CSS, as well as providing a platform to test for bugs and performance issues. Microsoft have included built in developer tools ever since the release of IE8 in 2009, yet they have received little to no attention ever since.

Fast forward four years and the IE development tools are receiving some much needed love. Aesthetically, the design of the tools has been brought in line with other Microsoft software, now resembling the UI of the current Visual Studio or Microsoft Office. Hopefully this change signals a move away from legacy menus that still permeate Windows 8 and make it feel at times that it has an identity crisis.

IE11 Developer Tools

The visual changes are not alone however, as Microsoft have included many new features. One of these is a new Emulation mode which allows for testing of how the site performs at various screen sizes and on different device types. This is vitally important for Microsoft’s push into the tablet market with developers having a whole slew of new screen resolutions and sizes to cater for.

IE11 Developer Tools

Windows 8.1 is certainly shaping up to be a significant improvement for Windows 8 users, addressing many complaints and these updates to the developer tools are a welcome one. While they are unlikely to help Internet Explorer to reverse the trend of flagging market share, any improvements that make web developers lives a little easier must be applauded.

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