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....