With the upcoming release of Windows 8, Internet Explorer is gearing up for one of its biggest updates yet. Internet Explorer 10 offers some interesting changes without changing so much that die-hard fans will feel lost.

If you are unfamiliar with what the Windows 8 experience promises, the main difference is the “Metro UI” mode. This mode uses what Microsoft calls tiles, which are easier to work with from tablets and crossover devices.

Internet Explorer 10 will take advantage of the Metro UI and offer two launch modes: desktop and Metro. The Metro mode, by default, is full screen. It offers users the ability to move through pages easily and can work with plug-ins to redefine the browsing experience. This version is made to work with apps, giving you a way to download popular apps straight into your browser, further lessening the gap between computers and touchscreen devices.

The desktop mode of IE10 is very similar to what users are already familiar with in regards to browsing. IE10 is familiar and likely more useful to those who use the Web from a standard computer on a day-to-day basis. Using IE10 in desktop mode will not feel much different than IE9, though many things have been fixed performance wise.

Tests currently show that this new version of Internet Explorer is more stable than previous builds; however, it does not quite reach the levels of say Google Chrome on tests such as the HTML5 test. On other tests, IE10 scores more favorably. For instance, on a speed test, IE10 beat the others at loading certain JavaScript elements. Only after a full release is available and the browser is tested more can a fair comparison be made.

The Internet Explorer 10 preview edition is already available for those running Windows 8 preview. So, if you are interested in checking out the browser of the future today, you can download it and experiment; however, upon full release, it will be available for Windows 7 and the two most recent incarnations of Windows Server.