Launch Options for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8

IE10 is a new browsing experience built in lockstep with Windows 8 to give you all the advantages that Metro style applications offer. we built that experience by extending IE’s underlying architecture to provide a fast, fully hardware accelerated browsing engine with strong security and support for HTML5 and other Web standards. IE10 also includes a desktop experience for when you are using desktop tools and wish to continue using them in your existing workflows.

Following last September’s release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview, we heard a lot about giving you the option to control which experience of Internet Explorer—Metro style or on the desktop —to launch when clicking a link in another application. in the Windows Consumer Preview, IE10 offers you that control.

You can locate these settings quickly by using the Start screen’s search capability and searching for terms such as “links,” “launch,” or “open links.” Show below is the result of search for the term “launch.”

The following sections describe the available settings.

Opening Links

The first setting of the Browser Launch Settings (labeled “Choose how you open links”) controls what happens when you click a link in another program. your choices include:

Options for Opening Links Behavior Let Internet Explorer decide Launch links based on the environment you are in Always in Internet Explorer Launch links in the Windows 8 (Metro style) environment Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop Launch links in the desktop environment

The default for this setting is “Let Internet Explorer decide.” in other words, links will launch into the appropriate experience based on the invoking context—desktop or Metro style. Links will open in the desktop IE10 when a link is clicked from a desktop application, for example, Microsoft Word, and in Metro style IE10 when a link is opened from a Metro style application.

Opening Internet Explorer from the Start Screen

In addition to controlling how Windows opens links, the Browser Launch Settings also provide users with options on how Internet Explorer application tiles launch from the Start screen. Internet Explorer’s application tile is the default launching point for the browser on the Start screen. You create pinned site tiles when you pin sites to the Start screen. The setting “Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop” controls what happens when you click the Internet Explorer or pinned site tile.

Options for opening Internet Explorer Tiles Expected behavior (unchecked) Launch in the Windows 8 (Metro style) environment (checked) Launch in the desktop environment Launch Options and Browser Defaults

IE10 is available in both Metro style and desktop experiences when it is the default browser. If Internet Explorer is not your default browser, only desktop IE is available and you cannot change IE’s Browser Launch Settings. The “Choose how you open links” option on the Programs tab of the Internet Properties dialog will be disabled (“grayed out”) when IE is not the default browser:

To change the default browser, type “default” on the Windows 8 Start screen. The Start screen will search apps, settings, and files for this term. The Apps results will include Default Programs. Touch or click it to bring up the Default Programs control panel item. From its list of options, select “Set your default programs” to display a page containing a list of programs on the left.

Select “Internet Explorer” and then click or touch “Set this program as default.” this will set IE10 as the default browser on Windows 8 and enable its Metro style experience.


IE10 offers you a full-screen, immersive site experience. We’ve found that many people – even those with the most enthusiastic and intense browsing patterns – prefer Metro style browsing because it’s less manual and more focused on what you browse than on how you browse. that said, for some browsing, IE on the desktop continues to play an important role. The Browser Launch Settings allow you to change the default settings for a “no compromises” experience.

Try out these settings, and let us know what you think. we look forward to your feedback here and on Connect.

—Kevin Luu, Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Launch Options for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8

Meeting Developers Where They Are

In my recent post on the “The Road to Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET 4.5,” I shared my thoughts on some key industry trends that have influenced our most recent wave of development tools. 

One such trend is represented by the order of magnitude increase in the number of people developing software.  the proliferation of digital devices, the transformation to cloud computing, and the advent of app stores to provide reach and monetization opportunity for software developers all contribute to this increase.  with such a surge, and with the breadth of app types being built, it’s no wonder that the number of choices developers have for languages, libraries, and frameworks has also increased significantly.

We continue to invest heavily in .NET.  much of the work we’ve done in .NET 4.5 has been focused on making .NET a premier developer environment in which to build server-side applications and services (for example, with the scalability capabilities afforded by the new async/await support in C# and Visual Basic).  .NET will continue to grow as a great choice for developers building cloud-based systems.  at the same time, we fully recognize that the world is larger than .NET, and we want developers to be successful using Windows Azure regardless of the development technologies upon which they rely.

In that light, we are continuing on our roadmap of embracing popular Open Source Software (OSS) tools and working collaboratively with the open source community to build together a better cloud that supports all developers and their needs for interoperable solutions.  Developers want to use the tools that best fit their experiences, their skills, and their application requirements; our goal is to enable that choice.  We continue to be committed to providing an experience where developers can build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know, and to making it easier to get started and to use cloud computing on their own terms.

Hopefully, this focus has been evident in much of the recent work that’s been done to reflect Windows Azure openness. for example, there are now SDKs available for working with Windows Azure from .NET, Node.js, Java, and PHP.  There’s a developer preview available for using Apache Hadoop on Windows Azure.  We’ve been working closely with 10Gen and the MongoDB community to provide MongoDB database integration for Windows Azure, including deployment packaging, documentation, and code samples.  There’s an updated Eclipse plug-in for Java developers to work with Windows Azure, including support for remote Java debugging.  There’s configuration guidance and documentation available for using Solr with Windows Azure.  there are Windows Azure Toolkits available not only for Windows Phone and Windows 8, but also for Android and iOS.  and the majority of these projects, and others like Python Tools for Visual Studio, are available under open source licenses. even from an IDE perspective, Team Explorer Everywhere supports developers accessing Team Foundation Server from Eclipse-based environments running on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX.

This only scratches the surface of the interoperability and openness work we’re doing for the cloud. in fact, just two weeks ago we announced a new subsidiary known as Microsoft Open Technologies, inc., to advance the company’s investment in openness.  As we said at that time, Microsoft and our individual business groups will continue to engage with the open source and standards communities in a variety of ways, including working directly with many open source foundations and standards organizations. Today, MS Open Tech released a new version of the Redis port to Windows, providing, among other improvements, better performance over the version released in February. Additionally, today I’m excited to announce the release of a Metro style theme for jQuery Mobile, which enables Web sites and HTML5-based mobile application to use the Metro style.

You can expect us to continue doing more here over time.

Meeting Developers Where They Are