Do MS Office applications notify Sharepoint/IE about modified files?

In Sharepoint 2010, and only with Internet Explorer (version 9, but I expect it to be the same with newer versions), I noticed this behaviour.

a. Edit a document (either checking it out or not) in its own application, e.g. in MS Excel (see pic) - but it also works with Acrobat and PDF files;

b. Make some edits and save the file;

c. Close Excel window.

At this point, I'd expect no action from IE. Instead, the document list refreshes, and shows the modification date/time and author accordingly.

Does someone know how Sharepoint and IE accomplish this behaviour, that is refresh when a file is saved and the editing program exits?

Please note:

  • the same refresh is done when there are several documents opened, and I close only the one I'm editing;
  • this is only IE-related, since Sharepoint does not allow opening files in MS Office using e.g. Google Chrome.

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