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Microsoft Internet Explorer Software The Internet Windows Technology

Internet Explorer 10 Drops Vista Support 438

Posted by timothy
from the that-was-quick dept.
Pigskin-Referee writes "This week at Microsoft's MIX11 Web developer conference, the company surprised many by making a pre-release version of Internet Explorer 10 available — less than a month after IE9 came out in its final form. But another surprise was uncovered by Computerworld's Gregg Keizer: the next IE won't run on any OS before Windows 7, including Vista. Microsoft took some heat when it came out that Internet Explorer 9 would leave millions of Windows XP users in the lurch, as the new browser would only run on Windows 7 and Vista. But the company confirmed that IE10 won't even run on Vista."
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Internet Explorer 10 Drops Vista Support

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  • by Mage Powers (607708) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:30AM (#35840068) Homepage

    Great marketing for alternative browsers :^)

    • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:56AM (#35840276)

      Great marketing for alternative browsers :^)

      There's an implication beyond "Vista support is dropped", which considering the number of companies that avoided Vista on the desktop itself isn't a big deal... Server 2008 support is also dropped. R2 is the Win7 kernel so that's still valid, but my users on Terminal Servers as little as three years old won't have access to the next IE version.

      Think beyond your desktop and consider that much of the corporate ecosystem "supports" IE. I've got clients who need - through no choice of their own - to access partner sites that are only officially supported on IE. For many of them, alternative browsers aren't something I can recommend, sadly. Now we're also being told our future with IE is... "OS upgrades".

      Thanks Microsoft. Dropping XP is understandable. Vista/2k8 is too soon.

      • by gcnaddict (841664)
        That's not a valid implication.The installer would and does do SKU checks, not just kernel version checks, so it's easily possible that it can still be installed on Server 2008 and that it can be tweaked to be installed on Vista as well.

        What Microsoft is announcing is effectively a lack of support for Vista, so even if it can be tweaked to be installed on Vista, Microsoft wouldn't offer any support for it.
        • by maugle (1369813)

          That's not a valid implication.The installer would and does do SKU checks, not just kernel version checks, so it's easily possible that it can still be installed on Server 2008 and that it can be tweaked to be installed on Vista as well. What Microsoft is announcing is effectively a lack of support for Vista, so even if it can be tweaked to be installed on Vista, Microsoft wouldn't offer any support for it.

          Oh yeah. Running tweaked, unsupported applications. That's the sort of thing businesses love.

      • by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @01:38PM (#35841114)
        Honestly, dropping XP is even questionable. You don't start counting an OS's death from the date it was first introduced, you do it from the date that it was last sold. MS was still selling new copies of XP in 2009. This is only 2 years ago. Combined with the fact that Vista was basically still born and MS knew it (making it not a real option for many), dropping XP support in IE is basically telling their customers that they don't really support their OS for more than 2 years.
    • That is exactly what I was thinking. They are not left in the lurch. IE 10 is likely to get left behind when it becomes an also ran in distant 3rd behind Firefox and Chrome. Maybe a 4th behind Safari, but that is pushing it.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Microsoft is doing everything they can to force businesses to upgrade before April 8th, 2014. That's when they finally pull the plug - again - on XP. Not that the magic bits on disk will suddenly stop working, but they know their market-sheeple.

      They want you to upgrade asap, because the longer businesses delay, the more likely that other devices - tablets in particular - will replace an increasing share of desktops.

      Desktop sales are down in absolute numbers, and this has Microsoft scared. Every seat

  • I don't run on any OS before System 7.5

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmomo (256005) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:36AM (#35840112) Homepage

    If this browser is unable to run on even Windows XP, all it says to me is "Hi, I have to interact with your computer in a way no browser should need to."

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:43AM (#35840162)

      Back in the times of Netscape, they wanted the browser to replace the OS (the user-visible parts of it, of course, not the kernel/drivers/etc.). The company failed to achieve it, but its brainchild -- Firefox -- managed to push Microsoft and Google close to that point.

      The more `rich content' (3D graphics and whatnot) runs in browser, the closer it needs to be to extra hardware (3D accelerator) and OS software (security provider, data store etc.)

      • by dmomo (256005)

        While true, it I'm still dubious that it cannot be sufficiently achieved to run on the older, and still fairly Modern OSs. Especially as I expect tHe other leading browsers will certainly be able to do so.

    • Most modern browsers are or will be interacting with those same parts of Windows (Direct 2D) for hardware acceleration. The difference is that most other browser manufacturers include fallbacks for legacy OSes and hardware. Strangely IE9 has fallbacks for legacy hardware, but not for a lack of DirectX 10.

    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:55AM (#35840258)

      I'm sorry, as much as I loathe Microsoft, what you are saying is nonsense. Newer operating systems offer greater functionality. It's entirely possible for an application - browser or otherwise - to require features that older operating systems don't have without nefarious "interaction".

      Just recently, I've stopped supporting iOS 3 because iOS 4 offers features that cut down development time significantly. My applications are sandboxed away from the operating system just like any other, much more separate than any typical application running on a desktop machine. There's nothing sinister about it, it's simply more cost-effective that way.

      • There's nothing sinister about it, it's simply more cost-effective that way.

        While it appears in this particular instance that you are correct, there are other instances of breaking stuff or offering new releases that do seem nefarious. Vista, itself, seemed like it was not so much a new OS as it was a placeholder. As much as 7 is adored by everyone, I can't think of any good reason for a company with 10K installs of XP and Office 2003, Server 2003 (that they already own licenses for, that the IT dept. knows how to immediately fix ANYTHING that breaks) to update to 7 (and Office 201

      • by foobsr (693224)

        Interestingly, it seems that newer releases of wetware apps are missing the feature to give examples.

        CC.

    • Firefox 3 cant run on any windows earlier than 2000, IIRC. Sometimes dependencies just arent there.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @02:29PM (#35841524)

        There's a massive architectural difference between NT-based and DOS-based Windows.

        For example, all system library calls that pass a string need to use a different API on Win95/98/ME and NT+. Using SomeFunctionA will mysteriously break the moment someone tries to input a string with a letter that happens to be not present in a legacy locale-dependent "code page", or access a file with such a character in its name. Supporting both APIs is possible but is a major chore, even with wrappers like MSLU.

        And this is just a tip of an iceberg. What if you want to write some persistent data? Can't use C:\Program Files\YourProgram\ since it is not writeable without elevation. Easy -- SHGetFolderPath(). But, that function is not present on Win98 that did not have a specific Internet Explorer (???) update. So you need to fall back to that fixed location in C:\Program Files\YourProgram\. And so on...

        On the other hand, there are no significant changes between 2000 and Win7 where user mode programs are concerned. New API has been added, but it gives little advantage, you can do about everything the old way with no functionality loss. I think the only actual goodie are filesystem transactions.

        There was a large change for kernel drivers between XP and Vista, but a program like Firefox has no valid reason to touch that. Not any program which doesn't touch debugging, hardware or virtualization -- ie, any game which installs a kernel driver has a rootkit like SecuROM included.

        • On the other hand, there are no significant changes between 2000 and Win7 where user mode programs are concerned. New API has been added, but it gives little advantage, you can do about everything the old way with no functionality loss.

          Um, have you actually looked at what Direct2D does?

          How would you paint, say, an anti-aliased rotated gradient rectangle in Win2K (where you only had GDI)? Aside from writing all the code for that yourself?

    • by bk2204 (310841)

      Actually, Windows Vista supports condition variables where earlier versions didn't. It's possible to emulate them, but it's very difficult to get right. It's totally possible that the IE team wanted to take advantage of features that made the code much cleaner or run faster. What's the point of having those new features built into the operating system if they can't be used?

    • by dingen (958134)
      FYI, IE9 already doesn't run on Windows XP.
  • by der_joachim (590045) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:39AM (#35840128) Homepage
    Oh dear! How sad! Never mind!
  • by dotHectate (975458) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:39AM (#35840132) Journal
    Doesn't bother me. While I'm sure someone will do something to prove that it can operate just fine on "Vista-or-less-than" OS, do we really care when we've got better options in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and many more? Oh, I forgot, I need it to run a "Native HTML5 experience", darn them.
  • by ZosX (517789) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .suivaxsoz.> on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:42AM (#35840150) Homepage

    "Windows Vista customers have a great browsing experience with IE9, but in building IE10 we are focused on continuing to drive the kind of innovation that only happens when you take advantage of screwing customers into buying modern operating systems and modern hardware for no good reason other than greed.""

    I fail to see why IE 10 would not run on vista which is like 98% the same as Windows 7. What could there possibly be in Windows 7 that Vista lacks? It even has DX11. So hardware acceleration is not the issue.... I mean seriously. There is probably some mere flag in the installer that forces it to only work on Windows 7 and that is likely the only thing preventing it from running on Vista.

    I mean google chrome runs on ancient P4s running XP. Give me a break.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mouldy (1322581)
      I'd guess they're dropping Vista support to speed along their release cycle. IE is still very integrated with the operating system. Windows gets all of it's code that deals with internet communication from whatever IE version is installed. Therefore, updating IE is not the same as just updating a standalone browser like FF or Chrome - it's also making changes to a lot of stuff behind the scenes.

      There probably is no technical reason why IE 10 couldn't work (to some degree) on Windows as far back as XP. Bu
    • Oh no! You have to use Windows 7! The horror!
      • Since you value £100 so little please send it to me.

      • Oh no! You have to use Windows 7! The horror!

        My wife's new laptop came with Win7, and so far "I hate it" barely scratches the surface about my feelings for it. Can't seem to customize it in any way that makes it more convenient. I just cringe every time I have to do something on it.

        Her brother wanted her to get an Apple. She wanted to stick with something she was familiar with. She may as well have gotten an Apple.

        • That's fine, but the security benefits provided for win7 are great. The technical benefits, also great.

          OS customization seems to me like painting racing stripes on your car--you may think it's cool, everyone else doesn't care and thinks you're an idiot.
        • by ZosX (517789)

          Huh? How is windows 7 less customizable than say XP? If anything once you get used to the new layout of certain things (explorer comes to mind) its a lot more customizable and convenient than XP ever was. If you think Windows 7 isn't very customizable you would utterly hate MacOS X where it is Jobs way or the highway. I mean there is very little you can actually customize in MacOS. You can tweak the dock a little and change the bar colors but that's really about it.

          For maximum tweakage there is always Linux

          • by Arlet (29997)

            I don't want it to be customizable. I'm more than happy if it looks exactly the same as XP, and everything would be in the same place.

    • by bunratty (545641)

      What could there possibly be in Windows 7 that Vista lacks?

      More money for Microsoft from people who upgrade. This is how MS makes money from IE -- people need to upgrade Windows to get the new version of IE. The other major browsers all run on Windows and Mac, and most run on Linux and other operating systems as well.

    • by mmcxii (1707574)
      I mean google chrome runs on ancient P4s running XP.

      I'm running Win7 on a 2 different P4s. A 7 year old ThinkPad and an 8 year old HP desktop. I have no reason to think that either machine will have any problems with IE10 either. So I'm failing to see your point about Chrome.
      • by ZosX (517789)

        yeah and how much ram do they have? most people running machines that old are lucky to have 512-1gig of RAM. Something tells me XP would be faster on such machines. Even so my point is that chrome runs on Windows XP which is something that even IE9 cannot do. I don't necessarily understand why this is necessary. Even firefox runs on nearly anything, though they finally dropped PPC Mac OS support with version 4.

    • by bhpaddock (830350) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @01:40PM (#35841132) Homepage

      What could there possibly be in Windows 7 that Vista lacks?

      Just look at the public IDL files in the Windows SDK and look at what's inside #ifdef NTDDI_WIN7 blocks.

      Hint: It's not a small list.

      • Isn't that only for driver developers, though? Since we're talking about browsers here, a list of changes relevant to userspace applications would be more interesting.

  • I suppose this is related to IE being tied into the operating system. That was initially used in a lame attempt to make an excuse why MS had to force IE on their windows users. But now it's becoming a problem. Their current, most secure browser won't run even ONE version of OS behind? wow.

    Not that any serious person really wants to continue using vista if they have any choice in the matter. Besides getting another OS upgrade sale under their belt I'm sure this was one of the driving factors.

  • Everyone is still using IE6 anyway.

    (If they're using IE at all that is. Everyone else is on Firefox, Chrome, etc..)

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:49AM (#35840204) Homepage

    Uh... Internet Explorer? Oh yeah - that thing I use to load Chrome, Firefox and Opera on a new PC?

    Why? Does it do something else i'm unaware of?

  • Just another reason for me to stick with Firefox on all my Windows machines - (which all run XP)!
  • Microsoft probably wishes that Windows Vista had never occurred.

    .
    But not nearly as much as some of Microsoft's customers wish that Windows Vista had never occurred.

    • Yup, that was my first thought too. Microsoft is essentially saying, "Vista? Oh yeah... that thing we released between XP and Win7... *ahem*... we'd really like to pretend that it doesn't exist."
  • That's OK, nothing else runs on Vista, either.
  • Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    - From Ozymandias [wikipedia.org], by Percy Shelley

  • by shatfield (199969) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:12PM (#35840402)

    The best use for IE is to download another browser after installing Windows.

  • Safari is similar... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aphrika (756248) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @12:40PM (#35840622)
    Doesn't run on anything less than OSX Leopard. Make no bones about it; an OSX point update is really a major OS version update akin to Vista or 7, but all hiding within the OSX moniker.

    Interestingly, they do build it for XP, Vista and 7. so in effect, they're supporting rival operating systems that are older than their own. That's interesting as it enables them to fragment the opposition more; giving the older OS users less of a reason to upgrade to 7...

    I'll be honest though, I'd like to see IE10 on other platforms. It won't happen, but I think the underlying changes and the direction that a current Microsoft are taking are good. Crap marketing speak not withstanding, IE9 is a good browser, whatever the past history for the name.
  • This just goes to show you they have not learned yet that tying your client ( browser ) into your OS at that level is bad thing for security.

  • by Flipao (903929) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @01:02PM (#35840818)
    Would spend hundreds of dollars buying Windows just to run the newest version of IE?, it has to be the ultimate act of masochism.
  • Installed IE9..saw there was no way to configure a separate search bar or disable blurry type and uninstalled it after 10 minutes.

    IE10 may be a good browser in its own right but with millions still on XP and Vista they are basically forcing those users to other browsers while pissing off content developers in the process.

    • IMO this is a non-event in terms of pissing off content developers. That's water under the bridge, since MS has already been dragged (kicking and screaming) in the direction of standards compliance. IE6 (universally loathed by content developers) has already been EOLed (it is not supported on Vista AFAIK).

      This is definitely a customer-hostile move though.

  • by Sarusa (104047) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @05:08PM (#35842874)

    Every person I know who's still running Vista and hasn't bothered to upgrade to Win7 is only running Vista because that's what came on the new PC/Laptop and they didn't know any better. They certainly don't care whether they're using IE9 or IE10.

    Everyone who'd actually care upgraded to Win7 so fast you could hear the sonic booms.

    Okay, so we're not really using IE at all either... ... who's IE10 for again?

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