Well, the IE 9 preview is out and with it a lot of mixed feelings. Let's see if I can sum it up:
It has an extremely fast hardware accelerated browsing experience, and is faster at loading both html, flash, and java than any other browser.
Only the preview is out right now, and it lacks a URL bar, back/forward buttons, and basically all the other basic controls. You have to open a small dialog box and type or copy/paste in the URL to go to the website.
It won't run on XP. Not at all. This is a pretty stupid case of Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot. According to Ashraf's poll, XP is the most common OS among dottechies, at 46%. So, yeah, I'm pretty disappointed/annoyed.
*Take a hint Microsoft! Not everyone switches OS's on your say-so!
Well, by the time IE9 is released, XP will be around 10 years old. An era in computer time. I don't blame them. Continuing to support really old software is tough.
I say this as someone who has to write code that works on IE6 – IE8 and FF at work.
And who at home has everything from Win2000 to Win7. But I don't expect them to help me if something goes wrong on the Win2000 machine (and it won't run IE8 so this isn't the first time that Microsoft has created a new browser that is not supported on an old OS).
In normal circumstances I would agree with you, but XP is a bit different. No one has continued to use Windows 2000 in the way that XP has stuck around. If they had said they were not going to support Win2000 that would be one thing, but tons of people still use XP. If Microsoft has any intention of swinging the browser wars back in their favour they should somehow make it work with XP, whether with an OS update, or in the browser itself.
I know it may seem as if I am making a huge deal out of this, but if the browser is so astronomically faster than even Google Chrome, then I think it's worth the fuss.
No security updates would suck. But at a certain point, it probably gets more expensive for Microsoft to maintain XP than to lose a certain number of customers.
I don't know what their employee turnover rate is, but how many Microsoft engineers are XP experts at this time? Since most of them probably helped develop Vista and Win7, it may be getting difficult to find people to fix XP.
I know from experience in development (not OS development though) that it is really hard to maintain a system that you are not intimately familair with especially if you want to do it well and not hack it up.
It seems to me that whatever IE9 is like when finally released, that little geeks like me will completely avoid any type of beta d/l & testing, especially because of the “as is” status. Too much risk, regardless of having backups & rescue disks, etc., & I could ill afford a new OS or ‘puter.’
MS would be wise (for once???) to incorporate into IE9 the positive features of others like Firefox, Chrome, etc., & to avoid self-inflicted foot wounds. Limping around in public is just so embarrassing. Everyone can tell the source of the injury.
I'm guessing that MS is finally getting serious about the browser wars. They had the field to themselves for such a long time (after Netscape went south and before FF became popular) that they had no incentive to innovate.
I think they've seen the light and the new IE will be better than ever (and maybe better in at least some aspects than the other browsers).
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