Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

Summary: Yesterday Microsoft unveiled to the masses the beta of its new browser IE9. But this new browser won't run on the majority of Windows systems currently out there. Is this a problem? Will it encourage XP users to upgrade?

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Yesterday Microsoft unveiled to the masses the beta of its new browser IE9. But this new browser won't run on the majority of Windows systems currently out there. Is this a problem? Will it encourage XP users to upgrade?

Here's the deal. About two-thirds of PCs out there run Windows XP. Windows XP doesn't support the Direct2D API that IE9 uses for hardware acceleration. No Direct2D support, no IE9.

But does it matter?

[poll id="555"]

Well, the first thing to bear in mind is that IE9 is currently in beta, and not the final release. Microsoft hasn't given us a clue as to when the final release of IE9 will be. Best guess is that it will hit the download servers in April 2011, in time for Microsoft's MIX web conference. April 2011 is a long way away (in the tech world), so it's quite likely that Windows 7 will gain more ground during that time, while XP's market share will continue to slide. I wouldn't want to bet against that trend. I expect that the holiday spending orgy will result in a significant upgrade uptick.

Another point worth bearing in mind is that if you're happy with an old OS, then chances are that you're happy with an old browser. Or a non-Microsoft browser. There are alternatives that continue to support XP ... for now.

Personally, I think that not supporting XP is a good move. Microsoft will continue to stream patches to XP for both the OS and IE until the support period expires, and if XP users want a more modern browser, then they've got the option to go for something else (Firefox, Chrome, Opera ...). But sometimes you have to draw a line under the past to move forward, and in my opinion Microsoft's done the right thing here.

XP is dead people, time to get used to that.

Topics: Windows, Browser, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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213 comments
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  • Can you blame them?

    I believe that I read somewhere that XP was reaching it's end of life as far as MS Support was concerned. XP machines are somewhere around 6-10 years old, people that don't buy new computers probably don't purchase new software and MS pays the bills by selling software.
    balsover
    • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

      @balsover Not so - I have two relatively shiny new Atom-powered machines (one netbook, one low power desktop), both supplied with XP. And very nice, very useful machines they are too, and usefully cheaper than they would have been with Windows 7 even if the relevant models had been around when I bought them. My employer still rolls out new desktops on XP I believe (about 1000 per year across all staff, and if not it's a very recent change) because there were enough compatibility issues with software we needed for Vista and W7 until very recently.

      I'm not anti- the new versions in the slightest - I run and like Vista on my main machine and what little I've so far seen of W7 is nice (if hardly a quantum leap over Vista) but XP is far from dead and only in use on Dinosaur machines as you're implying. IMHO, XP's still on the radar for another couple of years at least and if nothing else I suspect the volume of corporates still on XP will force a climbdown on IE9 for XP.
      eftpotrm
      • It's a waste of good hardware ...

        @eftpotrm ... to saddle modern 1GHz+ processors with an OS written to run at 300MHz.

        Windows 7 runs faster on the same hardware than Windows XP (SP3) does and the only reason XP is still available on hardware sold since 2007 is because customers demanded it! (Who says Microsoft is not responsive to customer demand?)

        That doesn't mean that customers always act in their own best interest.
        M Wagner
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @eftpotrm
        FTR, a quantum is the smallest possible unit of measurement. As such a quantum leap is the smallest jump you can make from one point to the next. W7 is a perfect example of a quantum leap from Vista.
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        Yawn!!
        Might be important to computer geeks.
        Most corporations still run XP.
        IE7 works fine (apparently unless you are a computer geek)
        bruce.ott@...
      • My company has XP corporate-wide

        @eftpotrm ... and they're certainly not buying everybody new computers capable of running Win7 so we can all have better browsers to waste time with during the workday.

        At 4:59.59 Microsoft is out of my life, and I don't return to it till 7:30 AM the next day.

        OSX baby.
        HollywoodDog
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @eftpotrm XP is dead, and will be forgotten. Windows 7 is a huge leap over Vista, Windows 7 is a streamlined version of Vista. XP is insecure and needs to be let go for the latest and greatest.
        UnixMan2501
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @mwagner Who determines ones own best interest? Microsoft, I suppose. If I go to Win 7 I will have to hunt for programs that will work with it that I use every day, I already know nothing out there so far comes close to OE for creating HTML messages. Maybe you don't think I should want to do that. But I do. There is no way you can determine my best interests. You are exaggerating your intelligence and importance if you think so.
        jjfahl@...
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        [i]That doesn't mean that customers always act in their own best interest.[/i]

        Yes it does. It says we don't have to fork out everytime Redmond says "jump" whenever they release their latest in expensive boredom.
        ahh so
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @eftpotrm
        Two points
        1. I updated my Atom machine to Win7, much better. It feels like a substantial hardware upgrade. Start watching, sometime in October we are supposed to see Windows 7 Family Pack from Microsoft. This will upgrades three machines to Win 7 Home Premium (unless something changes)
        2. I believe that the purpose of all the effort in IE9 is to get Win7 upgrades moving. It would be self-defeating to do as you suggest. They went the extra mile with the free XP virtual machine which is part of the Pro level of Win7 to address your corporate problem.
        mswift@...
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @eftpotrm
        It's a choice you and your employer made to buy computers with Windows XP. Microsoft took XP off the market long ago.
        illegaloperation
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @eftpotrm except that next month, MS ends the downgrade sales for new machines and they will no longer be licensed to downgrade. Which will force even more businesses to finally go to win 7 or vista
        condelirios
    • 7 better than Vista, but..

      @balsover 7 is a resource hog, compared to XP. XP runs happily with no dedicated video, 1 GB RAM, 2 GB HD space. Generally, 7 requires 4 to 5x resources to get the same performance as XP. Where's the MS Singularity project, that was supposed to be a total reboot of everything?
      redrust
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @redrust
        When you wake up from that nightmare, I hope the tooth fairy is there to set you straight. Complete falsehoods!
        eargasm
      • I call FUD!

        @redrust
        I have a machine here that ran the beta, RC and RTM versions of Win 7 with only 1 GB of RAM. And it ran/runs well. The only reason the machine got an upgrade - a game I wanted to play required more memory if I wanted to play it without it being a slide show. But as a whole, it runs Windows 7 just fine with 1 GB of RAM.

        As far as disk space is concerned... Is this really an issue? Come on. This is 2010. Most hard drives these days are more than big enough to accomodate the 7 GB required for Win 7. It's a drop in the proverbial bucket on a 1 TB drive. Unless you're stuck with some really ancient 4 GB drives (in which case, you probably would want to start looking into getting an upgrade as those ancient drives are likely to drop dead from age related issues) does disk space really matter?

        And lastly... A video card capable of running 7 (or Vista, for that matter) can be had for less than 50 bucks.
        Wolfie2K3
  • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

    No one would upgrade the entire OS just for a browser. They would upgrade the OS because of all the added benefits Microsoft offers in each new version of Windows. Plus there is no reason for Microsoft to backport IE9 since XP is reaching its end of life cycle soon. That would be wasting resources.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

      @Loverock Davidson

      Hit the nails right on their heads. Windows XP is a dated, UNSAFE operating system that no one should still be running.

      That's a 'period and done with'. To the people who are shouting at me "WE HAVE XP-ONLY APPS!".... Tell whoever made those for you to get off their cans and make new versions that are backwards compatible and compatible with Windows 7.
      Lerianis10
      • Leriani10 you Loverock Davidson are the only ones

        that don't get it. W-XP will be here long after you two fudders are long gone from the IT world. W-XP still works extremely well and is totally safe for anyone with a little smarts. Your the same guys that always said Vista was the best OS. Now you two are pushing IE-9 that will be full of holes just like Vista was. IE-9 will be the number four browser after all is said and done. Talk is IE-9 isn't even going launch on schedule and thats directly from Mike Coxes mouth. :-)
        Over and Out
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @Lerianis10---As SoYouSaid said, if one knows how to configure and install a well layered defense system, XP generally works quite well yet. I still prefer it overall to Vista.
        It is so arrogant, to declare to 'you people' that 'XP is dead'.
        Say what?
        PreachJohn
      • RE: Dear XP users: No IE9 for you (Listen up people, XP is dead!)

        @SoYouSaid & @preachjohn

        This just goes to show the ignorance in society today. XP is dated, still very exploitable and will be EOL. If you knew any better you would have known that Vista was the only OS to stand secure next to Ubuntu in tipping point conventions. OS X and XP are the weaklings. This all reminds me of when XP was coming out and all the ignorant people talking about Win 3.11 and 95... Behind the times and not so successful. Companies are successful because they are constantly evolving and keeping pace, those who fall behind people don't care about. New software and new features are all for the now. Some people get trapped in the past and never get ahead. XP IS DEAD just accept it!
        audidiablo