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Microsoft reveals revamped cross-platform Internet Explorer 11

Microsoft has announced a new version of Internet Explorer 11, which will offer improved performance and better security, among other measures.

The updated IE11 will roll out with the Windows 8.1 update, and will be coming to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 via Windows Update starting on 8 April (though it's available for download now on MSDN and TechNet).

IE11 will also debut on Windows Phone 8.1, so you'll be able to surf on your phone, tablet or PC, and pick up where you left off on any device, keeping your tabs, favourites and so forth consistent across all your hardware.

The mobile version of IE11 will bring across elements from the desktop, and you'll be able to use the InPrivate browsing mode for privacy, and pin favourite websites to the Start screen. A reading mode will be present, along with a "High Savings Mode" which will offer streamlined surfing and a claimed reduction of 60 to 80 per cent data usage, slimming down image downloads and helping you stay under your data cap.

The revamped IE11 for Windows 8.1 has one major clever trick up its sleeve – it will detect your device and input method, and adjust itself accordingly whether you're on a PC with a large monitor, or 8in touchscreen tablet. Elements such as menus, font sizes, and the number of tabs visible will all be tailored to your hardware, which is a neat touch.

Businesses will also be pleased to hear about Enterprise Mode in IE11, which has been introduced to encourage upgrading to a full bells-and-whistles modern browser, while maintaining compatibility with sites developed for earlier versions of IE.

Enabling Enterprise Mode will mean full backwards compatibility with websites that were developed for IE8 or older versions of Redmond's browser, allowing a business to still use legacy web apps, for example.

The IE11 update also boasts an overhaul of developer tools, including a raft of new shortcuts, the ability to emulate other versions of IE, better memory tools and an enhanced interface, among other tweaks.