MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED the addition of a Developer Channel for its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser.
The move continues Microsoft's push to be more open, which began in earnest with the open sourcing of elements of its .NET library at this year's Build conference in San Francisco.
The IE developer channel can run concurrently with a stable version of Internet Explorer 11 but it gives developers a chance to work with unfinished and unpolished features before final release.
Microsoft has been under increasing pressure to reform its business strategy as free approaches, mostly based on the Chromium rendering engine, become more popular.
One commenter said, "Here's an idea : use the Chromium engine. Development costs reduced by $10 million." Another added, "Stop this age old propaganda. IE will ever get its market share back. Just give up already and endorse Chrome."
Others were more supportive, however, with one writing, "Thank you Microsoft, this is a welcome tool for a developer like me. Don't listen to the Google Employees in the comments and keep pressing forward."
Among the complaints that have seen IE overtaken by Chrome in recent months, are the lack of support for certain elements of HTML5 and a relative lack of extensions and add-ons, a reflection of its previous closed nature.
The IE developer channel edition can be downloaded from devchannel.modern.ie, available on Windows 7 and above. µ