Microsoft's IE 9 Gamble - smart or just stupid?

Microsoft is playing hardball again. Over the years they’ve forced people to upgrade software in order to get the latest greatest bullshit they provide. The trick is to offer new features and not make them compatible with older versions of windows.

Microsoft is not happy that over half their customer base is on XP. They are finally rolling out IE 9 and (of course) it doesn’t support XP. This obsolescence strategy is so transparent. The old version like IE 7 will rapidly become a security risk and customers just have to have IE 9. That means obediently trotting down to the store for Win 7 or perhaps a new pc with Win 7.

Or does it? :stuck_out_tongue: Perhaps our as*hole buddies in Redmond have overstepped? There are at least four or more browser alternatives. Perhaps this little Microsoft gamble drives even more of their customers to the other browsers? IE 9 could be left withering on the vine.

Could this backfire on Microsoft? Will even more people switch to Chrome, Firefox, Mosaic, or any of the others?

For the record, I stopped using IE almost 3 years ago. I became convinced it was too large a security risk.

XP was released in 2001. It’s a solid OS but not supporting a 10-year-old OS is not strange in the least.

Safari 4 requires OS X 10.4 and that was released in 2005.

Don’t you think IE 9 might be safer/better than previous versions because it relies on architecture not available in XP?

Firefox 4 was just released and it supports Win XP and even Win 2000.

I know IE is more heavily integrated into windows. Microsoft has long claimed it can’t be totally uninstalled. I understand it may not be possible for IE 9 to work with XP. I’ve updated IE before and it’s always a major windows upgrade. A lot of the core elements in Windows are changed. But, I see that as a design flaw. A browser shouldn’t be that reliant on an OS. IMHO The idea of ripping the guts out of windows for a browser upgrade scares me.

Anyway, other browsers are secure and they work with XP and in some cases Win 2000.

Well then fuck those fuckers for being in the business of selling operating systems and not doing something noble like whatever it is that Mozilla does.

I didn’t realize Microsoft still made a browser. Huh.

And Firefox 4 on a Mac requires OS X 10.5, which was released in 2007.

I would love to update to IE 9 (or 7 or 8) on my work computer, but we use archaic software for our timesheets, expense reports, and project management. It won’t accept any browser other than IE 6. Not FF, not IE7, not Chrome, not Opera. If MS wants people to stop using old versions of IE (and the associated old OS), they need to make people stop coding to old browsers.

You’re making a false assumption. Microsoft doesn’t really care which browser you use, as they make no money off of that. There’s no way this can backfire, unless people actually start buying fewer copies of Windows 7.

Furthermore, there are benefits to not maintaining backwards compatibility. Microsoft has the fastest rendering engine and perhaps even the fastest JavaScript engine. Part of the reason why Firefox 4 took so long was Windows XP only bugs.

While I would be more impressed with Microsoft had they maintained backwards compatibility, there really isn’t much reason to do so, any more than there was with Media Player 12 or DirectX 10.

Microsoft has actually been helping Mozilla since 2006. I meant it when I said they don’t really care. They’d be happy if IE9 does well, but it’s no skin off their back if it doesn’t. The development of Internet Explorer has always been about making money elsewhere.

I see that problem, too. As well as people still using software designed for DOS.

Usually the history is this:

  1. “We need to design software for our DOS system. Hire a programmer.”
  2. “It looks like this Windows thing is here to stay. But the program still works and we can’t afford to hire a programmer now.”
  3. “We’re having some real problems, but our system is all designed for DOS and we still don’t have the money to hire a programmer. Let’s come up with some kludge to make it work.”

Next time I will include the “this post was tongue-in-cheek” disclaimer.

I don’t understand this. Do you actually believe that non-Microsoft browsers several years old do not come with any security risk if installed today…? Do you think that Opera, Mozilla, Apple and other vendors say that, hey, keep the old browser! We don’t care!? :dubious: Yeah, “Micro$oft” etc.

Who the hell uses IE? (yeah, most people. I know. I’m being elitist)

There’s a perfectly good reason to upgrade from XP that has nothing to do with IE, though: 64 bits.

I was saying just the opposite. I know IE 7 has security risks. That’s why I stopped using it almost 3 years ago. I haven’t launched IE more than a dozen times in that time period. I always use Firefox and I keep it up to date. (well, I haven’t messed with Firefox 4 yet :wink: I will in a few weeks.)

I reinstalled XP on a pc at work last week. It had gotten a virus and it’s easier & faster for me to wipe the drive & reinstall. I left IE 6 on it. But, it’s also got FIrefox and that’s what our staff uses. IE sits on the hard drive taking up space, but it doesn’t hurt anything since it’s not launched.

My latest computer uses Win 7 and I would give a lot to go back to XP. I cannot find in all the myriad help any way of turning aero off for example. And the old find facility actually worked; I can’t figure out how the new one does. It is entirely unintuitive.

You can’t be serious. Either that or you only spent .2 seconds trying to figure it out before writing off Win 7.

My laptop at work, less than a year old, is running 64 bit Windows XP. We need to support customers who run XP, so we (mostly) can’t move to Windows 7.

To turn of Aero you right click the desktop hit Personalize. Then click on one of the “Basic and High Contrast Themes” at the bottom. You can then customize the theme to your preference if you feel like it.

The new search works by simply opening up an explorer window and typing what you want to find in the search bar at the top right.

There was a time --say, 1992-1995–when everybody was new to this computer stuff, and was excited about a new, revolutionary technology. You could browse the new information highway! (but it was easier to use Netscape if you turned off all the graphics.)
Result: You happily looked forward to new, better upgrades, and were happy to pay Microsoft

There was a time–say 1995-2000–when everybody was getting used to computers, but remained amazed by the new advances that came onto the market every couple months. Such fantastic new opportunities (256-color screens, AOL with 28k and then, wow! 56K you could attach pics to your email)
You got used to the idea that every 6 months you needed new software, AND new hardware,
Result: you were happy to pay Mircosoft and Dell.
Then there arrived the time when everybody’s grandmother already had email, and computers no longer amaze–they are just part of life, like telephones in 1965.
You now have 10 years of experience… .and you need backward compatibility.That’s a decade of habits aquired, a decade of files stored, a decade of a consistent system for filing projects in your office and in your personal life.
Most people no longer give a damn about new “upgrades”–which add NOTHING to productivity. Instead, the "up"grade is acutally a DOWNgrade: it forces you to spend an hour hunting through unfamiliar cascading graphics to figure out how do something that you used to be able to do simply, with one click on a menu that no longer exists.

Result: general backlash at Micro$oft.
I predict that most web sites won’t make changes that require IE9 , because they know that most of their customers will not be using it any time soon.

For the record, I’ve been using IE9 for the past month or so and I like it just fine - more than Chrome, actually. And yes, I have Windows 7. It came with the computer, and I’ve seen no reason to change it.