Sponsored By
Dave Courbanou

March 18, 2010

2 Min Read
Internet Explorer 9: Not for Windows XP Users

It’s not the final nail in the coffin, but it’s yet another sign of Windows XP’s decline. Microsoft is officially dumping Windows XP support in the next iteration of Internet Explorer. Here’s the why and how and what’s next from Microsoft…

If you didn’t know, Microsoft is positioning IE 9 to have some advanced features, like supporting HTML5 and hardware accelerated image creation through Direct X’s ‘Direct 2D’ introduced in Windows 7 (Microsoft’s rendering platform.) That’s part of the reason IE 9 won’t run on XP. But there’s also a far more basic explanation.

According to PCMag.com ‘s Michael Muchmore probing of the IE9 Team :

“Windows XP users have a fast, safe, reliable and private browser in Internet Explorer 8…[but] browsers should require the modern graphics and security infrastructure that has come along since 2001. Internet Explorer 9 requires the modern graphics and security underpinnings that have come since 2001, and is intended to be run on a modern operating system….”

And how modern is modern? Well, IE9 preview won’t run on anything less than Windows Vista SP 2. That special Windows 7 Direct 2D rendering platform actually got added to Vista in SP2, so you’re in luck. Muchmore also poked around to see if Microsoft thought about doing a non-Windows version of IE9 — because once upon a time Microsoft developed IE for Mac. He reported that Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch gave a resounding “No.”

So what does that mean for the bulk of Windows XP users in the wild? Well, there are still plenty of “modern” browsers that’ll run on an ‘antiquated’ operating system. Chrome, Opera, and Safari are just a few to mention. But just because Microsoft is ditching their browser support of their dying creation, doesn’t mean that  XP is really ‘dying.’ Once upon a time I mentioned how 3rd party people breathe new life into old operating systems (like Mac OS 9).

Still, it’s worth noting that XP is a nearly 10-year-old operating system and the last service pack  released for it was nearly two years ago. I think it’s time for XP curmudgeons to at least take a gander at Windows 7. We know you held out through the Vista madness, but it’s really time to upgrade…

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