The new release is aimed at “a broader audience of tech enthusiasts and consumers to download and experience IE11 for Windows 7” according to a post on the Windows blog. The new release is the final preview release before general availability of IE11 for Windows 7 later this fall. IE11 for Windows 8.1 will coincide with Windows 8.1 GA on October 18.
In addition to the generally available preview, Microsoft is releasing virtual images of the IE11 Release Preview for Windows 7 on modern.IE, its recently launched developer site, along with updates to the F12 developer tools.
UI Responsiveness tool - click to enlarge
The Release Preview of IE 11 has support for more languages than the Developer Preview. It is also, according to the IE blog, nine percent faster than IE10, which is a five percent improvement from the IE11 Developer Preview, and over 30 percent faster than the nearest competitive browser.
The improved web standards support starts with support for an un-prefixed version of Pointer Events, which is now a Candidate Recommendation at the W3C. Pointer Events allows web sites to accept inputs from different sources such as a touchscreen and pen, and Microsoft has been pushing the idea hard enough to provide a prototype patch to Firefox to ensure cross-browser support for the idea.
The IE11 Release Preview also adds new user controls for the Standard Delivery Profile for Closed Captioning so users can customize how captions appear in the browser.