Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

Summary: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 as a tool for force users to upgrade from Windows XP?

SHARE:

Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 as a tool for force users to upgrade from Windows XP?

Internet Explorer 9 will not be supported by Windows XP. Period. Microsoft's web technical evangelist Giorgio Sardo, speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo, has confirmed this. The reason given is that HTML5 and hardware acceleration require a modern OS.

Note: Interestingly, while XP users won't be able to benefit from IE9, pirates will, as there will be no validation required.

But is this nothing more than a cunning ploy to make users upgrade the OS?

Let's consider the evidence.

First, XP has a massive, entrenched following. It's usage share is at 63.4%, while Vista holds a market share of 15.6% and Windows 7 an impressive 11.7%. Many XP users don't see the need to upgrade because the OS does for them everything they need it to do. So it is in Microsoft's best interests to come up with reasons for people to upgrade.

The there are the browser stats. Internet Explorer 6 has a greater market share (17.6%) than Firefox 3.6 (15.3%). Internet Explorer 8 enjoys an usage share of 24.6% while Internet Explorer 7 continues to hold its own with 12.5%.

What about other browser vendors, such as Opera, Mozilla and Google. Are these players abandoning XP? No. Here's what Google Chrome developer Alex Russell had to say:

"I recognize Opera and Mozilla and on Chrome we’re all doing hardware acceleration. And, all of us are doing it on XP. What you’re describing is a situation where people are less behind. The way is to not leave users behind."

So, Microsoft needs a stick to lever users away from XP. And a new, incompatible browser might just be the long reach stick that Microsoft needs to get those XP stalwarts upgrading ...

... or perhaps not ... After all, upgrading to a different browser might be a whole lot easier (and cheaper) than upgrading the entire OS. After all, if Chrome, Firefox and Opera are all going to be able to do everything (or most) of that Internet Explorer 9 can do without having to upgrade the OS, then Microsoft's offering no longer seems like a good deal.

Would YOU upgrade your OS to get IE9?

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

195 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Come on

    Do you expect an editor to ship its apps to an absolete OS ?

    XP is no more supported, only extended support applies.

    I was very happy with my Windows 2000, but don't expect microsoft to ship any product to it...
    s_souche
    • RE: IE 9 equals IE's Death

      I for one don't use IE unless my company forces me to. If IE 9 is that demanding, no probs, let them force it on companies and Chrome will become the standard. MS's browser share will shrink to nothing. I will push for this option other than upgrading to Windows 7.
      Uralbas
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        @Uralbas: It's nothing to do with being "that demanding". It's entirely to do with the fact that XP simply doesn't have the infrastructure required to support IE9.

        For example, IE9 offloads most rendering tasks to the GPU via DirectX 10/11 and makes use of many security and safety API's that simply aren't in XP.

        Further, XP is a zombie. It's utterly unsupported in 2014 so why on EARTH would Microsoft choose to release it's latest browser for a platform that's walking dead?
        de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
      • @de-void Chrome and FF have no problem with hardware acceleration on WinXP.

        IE is the only one to fail. So either Microsoft are less competent than rag-tag teams of volunteers, or they are [i]purposefully[/i] crippling the most popular OS in the entire world. Stupid or evil, which is it? Both, maybe?
        AzuMao
      • supporting one more OS is heivyweight

        @ AzuMao decision to officially supoprt one additional OS is a commitment to install and support a whole build-packagin-validation-test-deployment-supprot ressource. this adds up in the $ million.
        rag-tag teams of volunteers have no contractual engagement.
        s_souche
      • Or, AzuMao

        [i]IE is the only one to fail. So either Microsoft are less competent than rag-tag teams of volunteers, or they are purposefully crippling the most popular OS in the entire world. Stupid or evil, which is it? Both, maybe? [/i]

        There's a third possibility to consider: The other vendors aren't putting out the best browsers they can, crippling them just so they can get a bigger share of the market.

        Who says that the hardware excelleration on their browsers is as good as it can be? Maybe they feel that "OK" is good enough for the end users, as long as they don't loose marketshare?
        John Zern
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        @Uralbas The fact is there are lay users than tech savvy ones. For them getting to know how to make things work on one OS is in itself climbing Mt. Everest.

        Moreover when they can get things done the way it is now, they would be very reluctant to change. How does Microsoft/anyone expect lay users to understand the advantages of using an HTML 5 supporting user when they have no clue as to what HTML is.

        Just another tactic of MS to make atleast tech savvy users to move to 7. Believe me 7 is good. I am typing this now on my DELL loaded with 7.

        But I will never lose my copy of XP for the simple reason its light. I have a download rig based on Atom which runs xp sp2. I tried running windows 7 on it. It aint light enough to run on Atom based rigs. Be it a netbook/nettop/tablet
        umesh2385
      • RE: RE: RE: RE: Okay! Now we're getting to it ...

        @de-void: great! So you take the atypical stance of pretty much *any* corporate meathead - <i>"let's say to h3ck with the majority of our user base"</i> (in MS's case, XP users) and play the <i>exclusive members only</i> game .. only Vista and W7 users get to play :P . <br><br>I will grant you this, <i>it probably isn't</i> - on the face of it - business sense to support a 2 generations old OS with IE9 (i.e. new technology), *but* any which way you wanna try and paint this, they could still isolate a huge user base - the largest single user base of any given OS incarnation, if they take your suggested tack. So, this (at the very least) could only backfire for MS. It's <i>truly a pipe dream</i> to think that any business can backhand (in a manner of speaking) their loyal customer base and expect to profit from it. <br><br>@s_souche: Listen, no one is expecting MS to give out freebees, but if you knew <i>anything</i> about customer relations (which you clearly don't) you'd know that it more often than not pays to help ease customers away from an outdated yet very reliable product (i.e. XP) with incentives. This might be, for example, in the way of highly discounted Vista and Win7 licenses coinciding with or slightly pre-dating the full RTM of IE9 (say 1-3 months prior). Bear in mind that is just a suggestion; my overall point being, that they've got to minimize the impression of being hostile (aka damage control) to their biggest group / subset of customers. To reiterate what i was trying to spell out for de-void, <i>any other approach</i> will, highly likely, simply hasten a migration of wavering, current XP-users to [place_competitor_OS here].<br><br>Sinceremente
        thx-1138_
      • @thx-1138

        <i>Listen, no one is expecting MS to give out freebees, but if you knew anything about customer relations (which you clearly don't) you'd know that it more often than not pays to help ease customers away from an outdated yet very reliable product (i.e. XP) with incentives</i><br><br>hmm, Apple doesn't seem to be easing customers off of flash, and I noticed their iPad sales don't seem to be suffering too badly. Perhaps it's going to become a trend.
        Badgered
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        Uralbas--

        "Chrome will become the standard."

        This reminds me of when -- back in the mid-'90s -- Netscape was forced by M$'s Bill Gate$ to retreat from the internet browser market. Marc Andreessen concluded that the legal process could not and, thus, would not save Netscape's business model; therefore, he decided to prevent Billy from profiting from the situation -- and did so by releasing from copyright the browser's source code. I still remember the M$ spokesperson rambling -- seemingly in shock -- about how that just simply Was Not Done (or words to that effect). So now every dime that M$ has ever sunk, is sinking, and will ever sink into Internet Explorer is a dime that will never be recouped by them. This is the chief reason that I find it very interesting that M$ is now apparently trying to use Internet Explorer 9 to further monetize Windows 7. I wonder, then: Does this reflect any disappointment within M$'s senior echelon on Windows 7's sales and/or a desire to partially or indirectly monetize Internet Explorer? Regardless of the matter, I do not think that the plan will work. Mozilla and Google -- especially Google -- have all of the reasons in the world to point out exactly how cheap and easy* it is to install their respective web browsers.

        "Chrome will become the standard.", eh? Well, maybe; I just hope that the Mozilla Foundation's funding is not negatively impacted by all of this.

        *Well, maybe it is not so easy: I was helping a housemate with XP Home Edition and Internet Explorer closed without explanation every time I tried to directly go to mozilla.com; so I ended up having to use a free proxy server to visit the site. Thanks for the experience, M$ ($teve Ballmer, I am looking straight at you). It gave me a little taste (just a little, mind you) of what life is like in China.
        nbahn
      • RE: RE: @Badgered: Yes and No

        <i>"...hmm, Apple doesn't seem to be easing customers off of flash, and I noticed their iPad sales don't seem to be suffering too badly."</i><br><br>There's <i>subtle differences</i> in the cases in question:<br><br>(1) Apple don't own Adobe Flash (<i>and can't wait</i> to move onto H.264 under HTML5)<br><br>(2) MS doesn't have the luxury of being able to simply set XP users (esp. corporate users) adrift - even though (admittedly) they're only offering extended support from here on out.<br><br>So essentially, comparing the Apple/Adobe case to the MS/XP one is to be barely speaking about the same thing. First and foremost, one's a compatibility app and the other's an OS .. so apples and oranges is what you're trying to compare (pun intended). All told, this case is as much (if not more so) an ongoing concern for MS's Marketing & PR Division as it is for their IE9 R&D Team.<br><br>So when all's said and done, with MS not making IE9 compatible with XP .. well, i guess that's just the way it's going to be. But i'll wager it's not going to have the effect Redmond might expect or A.K-H has tried to hype / sensationalize. <br><br>SYNOPSIS: MS is to produce a new browser (IE9) that will not be compatible with its <i>currently</i>, most used OS (i.e. XP). This is an OS that is 2G's old and is already on extended support (in regards product life-cycles). <br><br>CONCLUSION: It would be sanguine, to say the least, to suggest the majority of corporate, SME and domestic users will drop use of an OS *simply* because a new browser is not operable upon it. Granted, this would be an issue for web developers .. <i>and only then if for some insane reason</i> those developers wanted to only develop websites and web app' functionality specifically for IE9. Furthermore, and most importantly, i believe that providing corporate as well as SME, XP-license holders incentives to migrate away from XP to a later MS OS is the only feasible option that makes sound, commercial sense for the Redmond giant.<br><br>Sinceremente<br><br>(n.b. that is, of course, imho)
        thx-1138_
      • Chrome = an OS Trojan Better than XP ....way better than Win7!

        @Uralbas<br>I have WindowsXP on a Netbook (w/Linux Dualboot) and Windows7 triple booting Linux, Win7 and XP on an almost new quad core PC. For Browsers.... I have them all installed, but on the Netbook only use Chrome beta. It's a phenomenal browser and I just installed the developer's version of FLASH (btw... new next gen 3D MoleHill API are fantastic for gaming online, etc.).<br><br>Same on that Quadcore (12gig ram) Windows 7 (64bit) on this Desktop PC (booting all 3 OS's). Except I use an assortment of browsers running at the same time. Even though my primary browser has now become.... yeah "Chrome"... and I used to love the IE experience (but not now). When the IE9 RC came out I was hyped to see the new 3D stuff, features. But I was also mad that I couldn't at least try it out on my netbook or my XP media computer (5yr old PC) in the family room that I rarely use now.<br><br>To be honest..... I rarely use Windows 7 because it's such a pain to find anything with it's retarded search tool. One good thing is it will display my 1080P 60fps camera videos about as good as this Quad core does on Mint Linux. Chrome Beta runs awesome in it along with Opera and Firefox 4 so no need for IE anything and though I've tried Safari in Windows, I don't like it at all. It's boring and is missing the goodies both Opera and Chrome have added into Webkit along with KDE of course! Apple seems to have taken KDE's browser engine and dressed it up a bit and that's all!<br><br>Using IE9? Well I was kind of impressed at first by the speed over IE 8 (but Chrome Beta kills them all in features/speed), but MS hasn't changed the things that really count. It remains the most "Unintuitive" browser out there (tied w/ Safari) and to top it off, they are trying to sell us fake 3D as a substitute for the REAL 3D experience available with WebGL in every other browser. They use only the CSS3 and HTML5 that's out there to simulate 3D, like they were first doing on Vista in software (it's what made Vista so slow). Why fake it? All they have to do is adopt WebGL and Google's O3D support. But they seem to think they can fool us...... again!<br><br>No thanks! ....I'll stick with Chrome now that they are going to be supporting in browser Applications (Apps) developed to run even after you close your browser, it will basically be an OS within a sandbox, running Apps within a sandbox, within your OS. While Microsoft because they made the browser part of the OS in the first place, can only sandbox parts of IE and continue to leave you vulnerable to Zero Day Attacks on a daily basis! .....that I find Ludicrous coupled with slower browsing and NO REAL 3D Web with WebGL or FLASH 3D MoleHill of the competition. Luckily Adobe will have 3D "MoleHill" FLASH as a Plugin and Chrome will have that built right in their browser. It's like playing console games online in your browser and it's simply stunning!!!<br><br>btw..... note to Steve Jobs: Wake up fool, your customers are going to hate you when the next generation of fully cross platform hardware accelerated FLASH comes out and your competitors are all running 3D MoleHill Games online. Along with other Applications on the Web that HTML5 alone doesn't have secure payment plan for. So it'll all be lame FREE only content. The Premium Web Games and Applications will only be available to literally all your competition!!! FLASH Baby it'll Rock Our 3D Virtual Web World!!!
        Monarky
    • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

      @s_souche There were new netbooks with XP being sold until late last year. Don't act like these are just ancient machines we're discussing.
      bmgoodman
    • Obsolete? Windows XP is officially supported by Microsoft..

      ..and is used by many more people than Windows Vista and WIndows 7 combined. It's the norm, the standard.
      AzuMao
      • Only extended support is available

        @AzuMao which mean only some corporate have that support.

        No OS development team releases for 2 major release old version; Apple does not HP does not IBM does not canonical does not...
        s_souche
      • Only extended support is available

        @AzuMao which mean only some corporate have that support.

        No OS development team releases for 2 major release old version; Apple does not HP does not IBM does not canonical does not...
        s_souche
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        @AzuMao @AzuMao which mean only some corporate have that support.

        No OS development team releases for 2 major release old version; Apple does not HP does not IBM does not canonical does not...
        s_souche
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        @AzuMao

        Stop smoking that Ubuntu so much, XP is on extended support which, if I recall, means only contract support is available.
        ryanstrassburg
    • You Are Overlooking Games

      @s_souche:

      Online multiplayer games will continue to support XP for years to come.

      Game developers can't afford not to. XP remains their largest installed base.
      Cardhu
      • RE: Is Microsoft using Internet Explorer 9 to force upgrades from XP?

        @Cardhu : Yup.. XP has better performance when you play competitively online. So a lot of gamers will stick with XP untill the hardware becomes so fast and so cheap that they don't sacrifice the impact of a heavy bloated OS. Also i steer clear and have been able to safely ignore Vista only games. (The ones that are, are mostly dumb anyways)
        TedKraan