Like a new parent, Microsoft has lavished most of its attention on its new baby, Windows 8, and later Windows 8.1. Meanwhile, most of the world's PCs are still running its older sibling, Windows 7, as recent numbers from Net Applications show.

Internet Explorer 11 is an integral part of Windows 8.1, so it's only natural that the new browser would come to that platform first. But as of today, Windows 7 users can now take advantage of advances in the new browser, Microsoft announced on the IE MSDN Blog.

Windows 7 users are getting the new version much faster than IE10 came to that platform. IE10 launched with Windows 8 on October 26, 2012, was available as a preview on Windows in November 2012, and then only went to full release on February 26. With Internet Explorer 11, Windows 7 users only had to wait an impressively short three weeks after its initial launch with Windows 8.1.

The new browser version speeds up Web browsing while reducing CPU usage to save batteries on mobile PCs. It also adds a raft of new standards support, most surprisingly for WebGL, the 3D graphics API that Microsoft resisted adding for several versions. Unfortunately, IE11 doesn't add one useful feature the Windows 8.1 version has—tab syncing. That's reserved for Windows 8.1 users who sign into a Microsoft account.

IE11 speeds up JavaScript performance over IE10 by 9 percent, according to the blog post, and beats the nearest competing browser by 30 percent on the popular SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. But Microsoft has long stressed that browser performance is about much more than just JavaScript. Page-loading speed has also been improved in the new version.

PC Magazine