Google Apps pulls plug on IE 8: Windows XP left out in the cold

Google Apps pulls plug on IE 8: Windows XP left out in the cold

Summary: Windows XP users are left in browser purgatory as Google Apps shutters support for Internet Explorer 8. The message is simple: change your browser, or upgrade Windows.

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Google said today it will soon no longer support Internet Explorer 8 for its outsourced, cloud-based enterprise email and collaboration platform, Google Apps.

The search giant is pulling the plug on the browser's life support on November 15, a fortnight after Windows 8 and the latest bundled version of Internet Explorer 10 is shipped to stores worldwide, Google said in a blog post announcing the move.

That means no Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, and certainly no Google Drive for users of the older browser.  

ie8_beta1_10 2

The search giant said that, "each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version," ergo Internet Explorer 8 is up for the chop.

But the knock-on effect means that Windows XP users will be severely affected. Internet Explorer 9 cannot be installed on Windows XP -- only rival browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Because many legacy Web apps still require Internet Explorer 6 to run, users of the ageing operating system are being sent a clear message: get out of the old and in with the new.

(No need to chastise: I'm sure IT departments are fully aware that Windows XP is so close to end-of-life and "should upgrade," but it's just not financially viable in many cases.) 

In doing so, it's forcing colleges and schools, businesses and even government departments who use Google Apps, and still rely on Windows XP for legacy applications, between a rock and a hard place.

While Windows XP is more than a decade old, it's still used by 42 percent of the worldwide market, according to Net Applications. Its successor Windows 7 overtook Windows XP in August. That said, there are more users of Internet Explorer 8 than any other version of the Windows browser according to the figures.

Google's move to phase-out browser support by far not a new push to keep in complaince with newer browsers, however. Google started this practice of dropping support for the third-oldest browser in the development chain in summer 2011.

Who's likely to benefit out of this? Microsoft, of all companies -- Google's main competitor in the outsourced communications space -- by giving a boost to Windows 7 sales, seen by many as safe middle-ground between Windows Vista and the forthcoming game-changing Windows 8. 

Image source: Google, ZDNet.

Topics: Google, Browser, Operating Systems, Windows

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50 comments
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  • Yeah well

    Those Windows XP people better go get Windows 7 before they cannot buy it anymore and have to use Windows 8!
    slickjim
  • Too bad Windows XP doesn't support installing more than 1 browser

    Oh wait, it does.

    Why can't you have IE6 and Chrome on your XP?
    toddbottom3
    • Simple answer ...

      Because according to you the only choices are:
      - Malware friendly (IE6)
      - Spyware ready (Chrome)

      I would not suggest either to my worst enemies. Use Firefox or Opera.
      wackoae
      • Or

        Swiss Cheese Safari and Firefox!
        slickjim
  • Who cares?

    Who uses IE anyway? IF it wasn't for MS updates, I wouldn't ever even see IE on my XP machines. Firefox has turned into a real pig though so I guess it's Opera or Chrome then...
    Splork
    • Who uses Google Apps?

      Especially after back to back coming clean from Facebook and Intel that HTML5 is a dud.
      LBiege
      • I don't think that is accurate.

        They said over hyped but never said did.
        slickjim
    • Who Cares

      Who uses Google Apps anyway?
      William Farrel
      • You asked

        More than sixteen million students, teachers and over 5M businesses use Google Apps.
        RickLively
        • Just to put this out there

          I know no one asked for it, but over 50 million people used Microsoft's free Office Webapps and scores more use Office 365 for business.

          I have to use Google Docs because my institution has switched over to Google completely. But I would like to use Office Webapps for collaboration one day...
          Jabe124
          • Free Office WebApps?

            What are the complete system requirements for this free Office WebApps?
            RickLively
          • The requirements

            All you need is a web browser and a Microsoft account (i.e. @Hotmail.com, @msn.com, @live.com, or @outlook.com). Once you're logged into either one, hover your mouse over "Skydrive" and you'll see options to "Create new Word Document""Create new Excel workbook", "Create new Powerpoint Presentation", and "Create new Onenote notebook. Once you click either one of those, you'll be prompted to name the document and then you're at the black document.

            However if you are in the new "metro" interface, then go to the upper left and click on the arrow pointing down, click "Skydrive" and click "Create" near the top. You'll be asked to name to document and then you're at the blank document.

            So yeah...
            Jabe124
          • why the hell

            Should someone switch to M$ Web Apps???
            Watchmen247
          • I'm not saying anyone should

            But Microsoft Web Apps does have almost the same functionalities (if not more) as Google Docs.
            Jabe124
          • Why should someone use G$$gle Web Apps?

            Preference I would say
            William Farrel
    • The majority of businesses worldwide durh!

      I bet Google Search will still support IE8, it works pretty much fine with IE6.
      bradavon
  • Perfectly coincides with outlook.com. it's time for

    gmail users to make the move to outlook.com anyway and stop having all their emails scanned by google.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Umm

      Gmail has killer spam filtering and that's why I use it, it really is a great app service regardless of what MS and Apple fans think.
      slickjim
      • Forefront

        which is what Outlook.com uses, is at least as good as what Google uses.

        But yes, gmail is fine. It makes for a good spam account. I'm moving to Outlook.com because after so many years very little comes into Google that I need and it's hard to keep track from all the junk.

        To each their own though.
        LiquidLearner
    • Google Apps f. Business

      has no adds and so isnt „scanned“ and you know that....troll
      Watchmen247