Microsoft: No IE 8 tab-hang fix in the works

Microsoft: No IE 8 tab-hang fix in the works

Summary: Back in May, the Internet Explorer (IE) team left open the possibility that Microsoft might deliver a tab-responsiveness update for those of us suffering from IE 8 tab-performance issues. Alas, that update isn't going to happen.

TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft

Back in May, the Internet Explorer (IE) team left open the possibility that Microsoft might deliver a tab-responsiveness update for those of us suffering from IE 8 tab-performance issues.

Alas, that update isn't going to happen. Based on feedback from Windows 7 testers, Microsoft has scotched the idea. Not only is there no tab-hang reporting functionality for the IE 8 release that is built into Windows 7, but there won't be any for us IE 8 users running Windows XP  or Vista, either.

I asked Microsoft officials whether there might be some relief in sight for those of us who continue to have our well-isolated IE 8 tabs whir endlessly and never actually open a given site. This has been a continuing problem for me on my ThinkPad X60 with 1 GB of RAM running XP -- in spite of my following Microsoft's advice to prune my IE add-ons. Regularly, my IE 8 performance degrades by the end of a day of browsing to the point that I stop running it and switch over to Firefox or Chrome.

A spokesperson provided me with the following statement when I asked again about the possibility of some kind of tab-hang update for IE 8 on XP or Vista:

"As stated in the May 5 IEBlog post, additional data was gathered from Windows 7 RC users and it was found that the additional tab "hang" reporting functionality was not necessary and an update was issued to turn the function off. We will continue to work to address responsiveness issues, but at this time the additional tab 'hang' reporting functionality will not be made available to Windows XP or Vista users."

I've heard from a number of IE 8 users that they are hamstrung by IE 8's tab unresponsiveness. I'm curious whether there are more silent sufferers out there. Who knows -- maybe if there are enough of us, we can give Microsoft some new telemetry data to consider when designing IE 9's tab-handling....

Topics: Browser, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Lucky Me

    Sorry you have the problem, but my IE 8 works just fine all day long. Lucky me :0
    • In other words, "You're all right, Jack!"

      But what does this achieve? Really? Apart from demonstrating your complete contempt for the problems that other people are having?
      • I'm sorry?

        I'm sorry? but just how did you get contempt out of what i said?? I feel for anyone that has problems. Get a grip dude, your spending way too much time on the internet
  • RE: Microsoft: No IE 8 tab-hang fix in the works

    Yes M.J. add one more to the list. IE8 used in conjunction with XP Pro is problematic while IE7
    works flawlessly.
    • MJ is barking up the wrong tree.

      The question is : Are the shareholders happy?
    • I disagree

      That is the exact combination I have and IE8 works flawlessly and is much faster than 7 in all respects
  • I uninstalled and went back to IE7

    Like Mary Jo, I saw performance degrade more than considerably. Finally, I got sick of it and uninstalled. Too bad, because I like the feature set of 8.
    • Back to IE7...

      Me too. I wanted to like IE8 and installed it right after release. But a month later I was frustrated at all of the performance issues. Back to IE7. I'm satisfied. At least until MS turns IE7 off and forces me to upgrade.

      One other note, despite the fact that I refused IE8 under MS Update, it downloaded the 18 MB update anyway. It sits now on my computer, me unable to erase it. I suppose it will sit there until some signal from the MotherShip decides that it should install without my permission.
      • Not sure if you tried...

        ...the "regsvr32 actxprxy.dll" if you were having the issue on XP. Especially if you installed it early in the release you should run that. I've seen it vastly improve tab responsiveness in IE8 on XP machines. I've had little issues on Vista and none on 7. I like it just fine on 7 actually. Most of the Vista machines I deal with are still using IE7 for web app purposes.
        • Thanks for the tip...

          I'll try that this weekend.
        • Yes it works!...

          I've used that one on a FEW clients, but most are just fine.

          The real problem is the usual lack of third party support utilities. i.e. CCleaner, good AV/AS solutions, ect. Improper SP3 update coordinated with IE 7 & 8, improper preparation and configuration of IE 8 installs, ect. ect, ect.

          I'm not excusing Microsoft's unwillingness to warn XP users of all the pitfalls. I wonder if it weren't purposeful over-site, just to discourage staying with XP so long!!
        • Ironic

          No disrespect, and this is NOT aimed at you, LiguidLearner, but I'm just struck by the irony that if someone was posting about Linux and suggested dropping to the command-line and entering "regsvr32 actxprxy.dll", Loverock Davison and others would be howling about how ridiculous it is to expect people to know or be able to do something like that and that it was further proof that Linux wasn't ready for primetime! :)

          (Been using MS since DOS 1.0, so I'm not a Linux fanboi although I do use it.)
      • MS Update pushing IE8

        I have several times declined the IE8 upgrade, and told Windows Update not to notify me again about it. After the first time I told it not to bother, a batch of updates came down and somehow got installed without my say-so (I just came down to find the machine showing the login screen and then got the notice that some critical updates had been installed and the system rebooted. IE8 had been installed as part of that. I backed out the IE8 installation, went back to IE6, which I must have to communicate with the enterprise web apps at work via remote connection.

        I then got another WU IE8 update notice, and again I told WU to not install it and not notify me again about it.

        This morning, I got such a notice. I unchecked the update, then clicked the box in the dialog that followed to not notify me again. Clicked "Ok", and what did I get less than a minute after I closed that dialog? A notice that the IE8 update was ready to be installed.

        I think that MS is going to force this thing down my throat, whether I like it or not, and to heck with the fact that it will break my system.
        • @Filker0_z - And, how does that make you feel about Microsoft? [nt]

          • Probally the same way people feel about

            Apple and various Linux vendors, so what was the point of the question?
            John Zern
        • You have to hide the update...

          if you know it will interfere with operations - slow old hardware, ect.

          Maybe that is what you were trying to relate; but I've had the same thing happen to me; and I learned that hiding it was the only solution.

          Bear in mind, I WANT the update, but I got to do some tweaking to get it to work on an old crusty DELL with 700Mhz CPU and 768Mb of RAM!

        • Re: MS Update pushing IE8

          MS Update tried to push IE 7 on me and I refused it just like I will when it tries to push IE8
      • Right-click on the file. Uncheck System and Readonly. Delete it. (NT)

        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • RE: Microsoft: No IE 8 tab-hang fix in the works

    I see this mostly on a PC running Vista and a good number of add-ons. I seldom see it on the one with Win7 and few add-ons. It seems to happen more often on sites with a lot of Flash, and when I have tabs open to RSS feeds. One thing that usually "solves" it for a while is to open a new IE window using File -> New Session.
    • I would say,,,

      back off all the crap, before install of IE8 and put in in later, or enable it later, ect.

      I gotta admit, I forgot to disable half the junk I should have and I got away with it on Vista x64! After the last updates, my surfing has never been faster in my life!!!

      BOTH with FireFox AND Internet Explorer! I trade off depending how sites render!