Microsoft set to bring Internet Explorer 11 to Windows Phone 8.1

Meanwhile, the Windows 8.1 version of Internet Explorer 11 gets an update, too. 

Joe Belfiore, vice president of the operating system group at Microsoft, holds up a pair of mobile phones featuring the new Windows 8.1 at the Build conference in San Francisco.

It's been a big week for Microsoft: New Nokia phones, a rejiggered Windows 8.1 operating system, and the much-discussed Cortana voice-controlled personal assistant. 

But Microsoft has also used its annual Build Developer Conference to introduce an update to Internet Explorer 11, its sturdy Web browser. Beginning this week, reps for Microsoft said, IE11 will recognize your device – and your preferred method of input, whether keyboard or touch – and adjust the screen layout and Web surfing experience accordingly. 

"We've heard that people browse the Web on many devices, switching between their laptop, tablet, and phone throughout the day," longtime Microsoft hand Sam George wrote in a post on the official Internet Explorer blog. "Today’s update to IE11 means that whatever device you pick-up, your tabs and favorites are there for you, right where you left off." 

Meanwhile, Microsoft will finally roll out a version of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1, which is expected to start rolling out to mobile devices at the end of this month. IE11 for mobile includes a "reading mode," to optimize the appearance of articles, improved voice commands, an InPrivate browsing mode – for when you want to keep your searches under wraps – and something called a High Savings Mode. 

"[T]he new High Savings Mode can be enabled to reduce data consumption by 60 - 80 percent through reducing image downloads and only loading elements of the page relevant to the content you want to view," Mr. George writes. 

In related news, according to a recent report from the number-crunchers at Net Applications (h/t The Next Web), Internet Explorer dominated the browser landscape last month, with an almost 58 percent slice of the market. By comparison, Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox are in distant second and third place, with 17.52 percent and 17.26 percent, respectively.

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