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.
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.
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.
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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