IE 11 for Windows Blue to bring Desktop Swipe navigation and WebGL support [Updated]

IE black and white logo large

Two new features has been spotted in Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Blue. The first is Desktop Swipe, only available for touch-enabled devices, and the second is the introduction of WebGL support, which it shows up in the web browser, but at this point the support isn’t completely there.

I previously showed you the new sync abilities coming for IE 11 that were discovered in the leaked version of Blue. Now there are a couple more features that are surfacing:


Surprisingly the second possible new feature is the addition of WebGL. With Blue, we can say with confidence that many things are changing, Microsoft’s next version of its popular web browser, Internet Explorer 11, seems that will be adopting WebGL, a standard widely used by different browsers that optimizes accelerated 3D graphics on the web.

The kick here is that the software giant has previously refused to use the standard, because it could also impose a security risk.

We aren’t sure how Microsoft will actually implement WebGL in IE 11, as part of the infrastructure that’s there, but support is not present at this moment.

WebGL was first implemented by Mozilla and then Google followed the adoption of the standard to bring 3D graphics and more speed to the web by allowing the CPU to offload the graphics processes to the GPU. This technology is also a good solution for games, 2D graphics and other complex graphical tasks.

Desktop Swipe

The first new feature is called “Desktop Swipe”. It was first discovered by Rafael Rivera while digging into the Windows Blue build 9364 registry, and essentially brings to the desktop version of Internet Explorer the back and forth swipe navigation already found in Internet Explorer 10 (Windows 8-style app).

The downside is that it only works with touch, you cannot use the mouse to grab either edge-side of the screen to swipe to the next web page.


If you have the chance to play with Windows Blue, you can easily enable this feature by changing the following registry key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DesktopSwipe

And set the Enabled value to 1.

These were just two new features that are more than likely to come in the next major upgrade of Windows 8. As soon as new ones are discover, I will make sure to keep you updated. But in the meantime, what do you think about the changes thus far?

Update: There is an easier way to enable the new Swipe feature: Go to Internet Explorer 11 Internet Options, navigate through the Advanced Options tab and check the option: Turn on the swiping motion on Internet Explorer for the desktop. Finally, restart IE.

Turn on the swiping motion on Internet Explorer for the desktop