Internet Explorer is the default browser for the Windows OS, first released in 1995 to compete with Netscape. During 2002 and 2003 it had a market share of about 95% but the market share quickly declined with the release of Firefox and later Chrome - and partly due to sloppy W3C support on Microsoft's behalf.

Internet Explorer has always been known for a very arrogant attitude towards the W3C recommendations and is still a great source of frustration for frontend developers due to the need for custom development and/or hacks to support it.

The Desktop Browser

Versions 1 to 8

Looking back this is nothing to be too proud of. The requirement for hacks and workarounds are extensive. To support these version the trick is to keep it simple and know your hacks.

IE6 CSS Hack: * html .selector {}
IE7 CSS Hack: *+html .selector {}
IE6-8 CSS Hack: .selector { property: value\9; }

Ok, you're right. It sucks.

These versions were released from 1995 to 2009.

Categorized as: desktop_light

Version 9

A major improvement from IE8 now supporting the W3C event model and a very minimal set of CSS3. It was still far behind the competition, lacking among other things CSS transitions, FormData and the FileReader API.

IE9 still doesn't support innerHTML on tables.

To allow IE9 to be grouped depending on your required feature support it has it's own segment.

This version was released in 2011.

Categorized as: desktop_ie9

Version 10

Again a huge improvement from the previous version but still behind the competition due to only partial implementations of the standards and no WebGL support. There are also some problems when creating Form elements in JavaScript, which requires specific code. IE10 also featured a new minimum timeout limit (default is 10ms) to compensate for bad animation speeds.

To allow IE10 to be grouped depending on your required feature support it has it's own segment.

This version was released in 2012.

Categorized as: desktop_ie10

Version 11

Now getting closer to the bar this version almost supports the full range of CSS3 but still with only partial support for 3D effects.

To allow IE11 to be grouped depending on your required feature support it has it's own segment.

This version was released in 2013

Categorized as: desktop_ie11

The Mobile Browser

The mobile version of Internet Explorer is a scaled down version of the desktop rendering engine. The mobile version is also known as IEMobile (which carries different version numbers).

Versions 1 to 7

These version are more or less equivalent to the Desktop versions in terms of CSS and JavaScript support. Likewise requiring a lot of hacks and workarounds. Microsoft skipped version 8 for mobile.

These versions were released from 1996 to 2010.

Categorized as: mobile_light

Versions 9 to 11

As with the desktop counterpart huge improvements were seen but still with to many missing parts to qualify for the smartphone segment. The phone allows you to browse in Desktop mode, which will efficiently replace the IEMobile marker with a WPDesktop marker. When the WPDesktop is detected the device is treated as a desktop_light browser.

These versions were released from 2011 to 2013.

Categorized as: mobile

The Tablet Browser

Microsoft does not have a specific tablet browser since it does not really have a tablet OS as such and does not provide its browser for other OS's. There exists a number of Windows driven devices with both keyboard/trackpad and touchscreen running the Windows desktop OS blurring out the tablet category a lot.

Typically the useragent includes a touch marker if touch input is enabled - but you are still required to support mouse events separately (they are not seamlessly translated) and thus you have to create dual events handlers for everything.