Leak confirms WebGL, SPDY for IE11

On the eve of Microsoft Build 2013, leaked details on Windows 8.1's Internet Explorer 11 confirm that the browser will support next-gen Web technology, including Google's SPDY protocol.

Seth Rosenblatt
Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
This interface responsiveness report is good news for developers using IE11, but most people will notice changes under the hood: WebGL and SPDY support, for better graphics and faster page-loading, respectively. Microsoft-News.com

If Internet Explorer 10 impressed you, you're going to love what we now expect from IE11 at Microsoft's Build conference on Wednesday.

Information leaked by a Microsoft Developer Network subscriber appears to confirm long-rumored details on what's going to be included in Internet Explorer 11.

The next major version of the browser, expected to arrive with Windows 8.1 later this year, will include support for many under-the-hood features that Firefox and Chrome already offer, and some that they don't.

According to Microsoft-News.com, IE11 will include WebGL support, a standard originally from Mozilla that makes hardware graphics support in the browser easier. This is a notable shift from Microsoft's original refusal to work with the standard.

And in a semi-reversal of prior Microsoft policy, IE11 will support Google SPDY, according to the report. SPDY is a protocol for accelerating site-load times by changing how the browser handles requests to sites and site headers.

The leak also appears to confirm that you'll be able to boot Windows 8.1 to directly to the Desktop; that you'll get a toggle for the SmartScreen filter in IE11's download manager; and that the anticipated developer's tools improvements will be available in IE11.

However, several claims in the report are wrong. IE10 already supports Flip Ahead, which precaches certain sites for faster navigation with pagination; restoring tabs from a previous session; and the "Add site to Apps" option appears to be a rebanding of the "Add site to Start screen" option in IE10.

Check out CNET's liveblog coverage of Microsoft Build 2013 on Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT., when we bring you all the news from the developer's conference.