Microsoft touts fast browsing with IE11 thanks to page prediction, preloading and prefetching

Microsoft touts fast browsing with IE11 thanks to page prediction, preloading and prefetching

Internet Explorer 11, which is currently available on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, is Microsoft's latest browser version that gives everyday web browsing a fast and responsive feel. In an official blog post, Microsoft highlights the three main features that make this happen - page prediction, preloading and prefetching.

"Page Prediction, preload (also called prerender), and prefetch in IE11 give the browser a head start in downloading and rendering the next page or downloading resources for the next page. For common browsing patterns, pages are pre-emptively fetched and even constructed in the background in a hidden tab so they appear instantly when you click on that link," Microsoft explained.

"Microsoft wants you to feel like you are browsing local content."

Because of page prediction, preloading and prefetching, Internet Explorer 11 is able to speed things up, so to speak, when it comes to searching the web or reading news stories. Microsoft wants you to feel like you are browsing local content.

With the page prediction feature, the browser can "predict" where you will go next and load that page ahead of time. This makes navigation so much faster. Microsoft offered an example where one could flip through pages of images without suffering from nasty load times thanks to the page prediction feature. This allows for a "magazine-like" reading experience.

By simply adding the rel="prerender" tag to pages, web developers can allow for web pages to preload in the background. As Microsoft puts it, this can allow for "substantial performance improvements and greater user engagement on web sites."

With the prefetch feature, web developers can use the rel="prefetch" tag to prefetch resources individually - which uses nearly no memory or CPU.

"For example, prefetch is very useful for retrieving stylesheets and script files that are used for several pages on a site. This way, if you are equally likely to click on several links on the site, you can benefit from a browser cache that is primed with critical blocking resources needed for page load - no matter which link you actually click on," Microsoft explained.

IE11 also features support for SPDY/3 - which is an experimental protocol that can speed up page load time by combining multiple requests into a single network connection.

Thanks to these features, Internet Explorer 11 offers performance improvements that mitigate an impact to battery life or even unexpected data charges from your ISP. On top of all that, performance of web pages are improved.

"IE11 reduces the impact of network latency by pre-emptively fetching pages and content."

IE11 is also smart. "IE11 preloads pages and content only when there is high confidence that you are going to visit them. Uniquely, IE also prevents sites from draining your device’s resources, by limiting the number of preload and prefetch operations from each Web page," Microsoft explains. If you are close to reaching your data limit, don't worry, IE11 adapts and will not preload pages or prefetch content so you will not end up with an expensive data bill.

To try out page prediction, preloading and prefetching, head over to Bing.com using Internet Explorer 11 and do a search. Bing will add a preload hint for the first search result. Try it out and let us know how you like it!