A Browser for All Windows Customers: it’s about and, not or


The topic of what some customers need from a browser saw a lot of attention in headlines (e.g. Mozilla to enterprise customers: “Drop dead”) last week. Both Google employees and Mozilla community members alike (link) explained that to support consumers, their browsers cannot fulfill the needs of large organizations. At Microsoft, we believe that all Windows customers should have a great browsing experience, whether they stay at home, go to school, or work in a large organization with managed IT resources. Because all these groups of Windows customers are important to Microsoft, we want to offer our point of view and describe our approach.

Making the Web better for large organizations (with managed IT) is just as important as making the Web better for consumers and developers. People who have read Built to Last will recognize the false choice that others are making and the “Tyranny of the OR” they’re embracing: they can only support consumers OR enterprises, but not both. As Collins and Porras wrote:

[Visionary companies] do not oppress themselves with what we call the “Tyranny of the OR”–the rational view that cannot easily accept paradox; that cannot live with two seemingly contradictory forces or ideas at the same time. The “Tyranny of the OR” pushes people to believe that things must be either A OR B, but not both.

Large organizations provide healthcare (like Landstinget i Östergötland) and online learning systems (like Blackboard Inc.) and government services (like the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Washington State Department of Licensing) as well as many other important services on the Web. Just as some individuals have unique needs, for example with assistive technologies, some large organizations have unique needs as well.

To meet those needs, we ship updates to five versions of IE across seven operating systems with 14 Service Pack variations to customers in 96 languages worldwide every eight weeks. We do this because it’s what many customers need to fulfill their missions, safely, reliably, and in compliance with the requirements they have.

Imagine a retailer who uses a Web browser at the point of sale, or for customer support.  During a holiday selling period their PCs might be running 20 hours a day or more continuously.  They simply don’t have time for maintenance – even assuming that the updates have zero impact on the compatibility with the applications and sites they rely on. Now, consider their uptime need with the near perfect compatibility they need with a set of existing, in-use applications.

This is why many Windows customers deploy the Windows Software Update Service (link) to moderate updates and ensure they have time to validate updates. These tools enable customers to have full control in managing and distributing software updates from Microsoft to Windows computers on their network. There are many reasons IE is the most used browser in large organizations; this post (link) discusses some of them, like comprehensive management tools, compatibility, and migration support.

Hospitals, power plants, emergency call response centers, universities, states, and credit unions may choose to stay on a particular browser/operating systems combination for a variety of reasons. Requiring them to run the very latest browser offering – to upgrade software and keep it working at a cadence that doesn’t work for them, just because it’s easier for the software provider– is simply not possible for many of them given legacy mission-critical applications and their limited resources.

Beyond security fixes, these updates that go out every eight weeks include changes both for large organizations and for the consumers who rely on the services of these large organizations world-wide. For this reason, each of the many update packages we ship to IE come in two forms. Both include security, reliability, and compatibility updates as well as updates requested by large organizations (like Adobe, Fuji, HP, Nissan, SAP, or Verizon Wireless, to name a few) that need changes to IE to enable their services to work better for consumers who run Windows. Of the two forms, one of them is for large organizations that need a special, “one-off” fix for an issue that the majority of other customers do not need. An example here might be a power plant that hits a boundary case involving JavaScript interfacing with a legacy control system. The other form is for individuals and organizations that don’t need any of these particular fixes. Over the last year, IE has released about 100 security-based changes (detailed in the release notes with each update). Over the same time period, we’ve made even more changes in IE to increase compatibility, reliability, and performance for the services that consumers, businesses, and large organizations use and provide on the Web.

We deliver these updates on a predicable cadence, working with many people worldwide, to help global customers keep their operations running. Products like Windows and Office have a lifecycle policy (link) that typically runs 10+ years because that’s what these organizations need. As part of Windows, IE honors that 10+ year commitment.

The best way to move the Web forward involves fulfilling the real-world needs of the individuals and organizations on the Web. Sometimes, the needs for stable information infrastructure include Web browsers that are compatible with key systems, are fully updated with respect to security issues, and are not necessarily the very latest version. We respect that the people who run the critical infrastructure of the world must do so without our goals for a modern Web trumping their needs to run their systems under their control.

Providing that option – the ‘and’ rather than the ‘or’ others offer – is key to progress on the Web. We want all Windows customers to have the best experience of the Web.

Many Windows customers work in large organizations. Because we want these individuals to have the best experience of the Web, we work to make it easier for IT to meet their needs. So, we support older versions of IE, and we build deployment, management, and migration tools even as we deliver hardware-acceleration, professional-grade standards support, and innovative approaches to safety (like Application Reputation and Tracking Protection).

People, individually and in large organizations, who use IE on Windows are Microsoft customers. Moving the Web forward for both of them involves and, not the tyranny of OR.

— Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer

Comments (84)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like the honor to be the first to point out that Microsoft "and" inclusivity doesn't seem to extend to XP users with IE9.  Sure, XP is older than dirt in OS years, but it's still widely used.  The internet, as a whole, would benefit greatly by having IE9 available to those XP users.  As long as XP exists, my websites can never *not* support IE "quirks" which basically means HTML5 and much other new web goodness is not a practical business decision to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    However, if Internet Explorer did not exist, all those web-based services used by millions would be a lot easier to access. As a linux user, I hate it when the DoD tells me to use IE to access something. I'd much rather use Chromium, and have IE just go away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Also, the only reason hospitals, power plants, etc, use IE is because it is the default one that came with their operating system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Parrotlover77

    Windows XP is in extended support.

    It is ancient history and people using it should start to face up to the reality that XP will be  disappearing fast

  5. Anonymous says:

    I bought a new PC because the one I had was old, and because IE9 looked blurry.

    On my brand new Sandy Bridge PC, IE9 STILL looks blurry and I tried all the workarounds –  Yes, I tried them ALL, including:

    1) Turning software based rendering on/off

    2) Cleartype tuner

    IMHO you can not be proud of IE9 until you fix the blurry fonts problem.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I bought my computerless than 2 years ago with XP included!!! With IE9 you are telling me that my computer is all ready obsolete??? In that case I should get the update to windows 7 free!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    @hAI

    The market should determine that, not the company.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @hAI

    The market should determine that, not the company.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Granger, wrong – again as someone in the top of the industry, the ONLY reason we don't switch away from IE, is NOT because it is shipped with Windows. my goodness really? It is because it is stable, it works so great with all products, it is so easy to test with, and saves Millions when rolling out new software, because you know you have something stable, for a while so you can plan release schedules without having to incorporate other influences such as weekly updates to a not stable environment.

    Don't guess, ask, IT managers all over love IE. Stable, easy to write for and plan with. And did you say XP? Oh come on, XP? Keep your computers up to date. Even windows only supports SP3 on that anymore.

    Oh well, peace brother, don't hate, love.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The market does determine what IE Does. As one of those large companies, I know this, I have sat at tables with them on vid, working out what our issues with say IE8 were, or a recent patch, while we were introducing new Net abilities for our customers, they input it into patches that were part of a full company update. A lot of you don't know what goes on behind the scenes. I am amazed how IE and MS get at the table with companies, sleeves up, solving issues, writing code – resolving issues.

    Peace.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gord: Appeals to authority; at any rate, what industry are you in the top of? Are you honestly of the opinion that Internet Explorer is stable, or that it works great with all products? Do you realize the only reason it would work great is because web designers/developers like me have to put Internet-Explorer specific code in our web pages to MAKE it work, or else lose about 50 percent of our userbase that doesn't care what web browser they use?

    Also, I don't want to sound like an XP Evangelist, as I said, I'm a linux user, I use Fedora 15 x86. Doesn't it concern Microsoft at all that all their users liked XP better than Vista and Windows 7? Isn't that a sign that users don't like bulky, ugly, slow operating systems?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am constantly running into issues using IE9 as my default browser.  So often, in fact, that I have to keep a copy of Chrome on my PC just to be able to do things.  Gmail and some other google sites don't work with IE9.  The Facebook "Movies" application doesn't work with it.  I've run into surveys on news sites (like TIME.COM) that don't work with IE9.  It's kind of frustrating.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Granger, sorry, but Win7 is sleek and fast and vastly more powerful and useable than XP.  Going from Win7 to XP is like going from XP to Windows 3.11.  It's painful.

    Vista was a problem when it was released.  After SP1 it was much better.  But there are very few machines that can run XP that can't run Win7.  And XP is just bulky, ugly, and sluggish to me now.

    XP users need to update.  XP is over 10 years old.  It's ancient.  The only people who should be running it are people with 10+ year old PCs who have no desire to upgrade.  Unfortunately there are too many of those, and they are the ones holding everyone else back.

    Users don't like XP better than Win7 (quite the opposite for anyone that has used both).  Users staying with XP are just stuck in a rut of inertia.  Nothing more.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Whatever you say about Windows XP, keep in mind, I'm an outside observer. I don't use Windows. At all, ever. Not even for video-games.

    Companies should never try to tell their customers what to buy. It's not their place. It's like a homeless person giving financial advice.

    Customers prefer Windows XP. If they didn't, we wouldn't be discussing this right now, because it would be a non-issue.

    No matter how much slicker, cooler, and-feature packed Windows 7 is, the fact of the matter is the average computer user prefers Windows XP. They are still selling netbooks and laptops with Windows XP. People are going to extreme lengths to rid themselves of Windows 7, to the point where pirating a hacked edition of Windows XP is actually preferable to running a legitimate copy.

    How does a company see this and go "No, you're all wrong! You actually like Windows 7!"?

  15. Anonymous says:

    @Granger – "Doesn't it concern Microsoft at all that all their users liked XP better than Vista and Windows 7?"

    I've got some big news for you – the XP diehards are a minority. A very vocal minority (otherwise we wouldn't even know they exist – just like other minorities), but a very small minority.

    Sadly, these diehards are the kind of people who get the most attention from their friends/family (which is one of the main reasons people still use XP – I've seen a lot of "this computer came with Vista/7 but my friend-who-knows-a-lot-about-computers told me XP was better and he installed it…what?..no, I didn't pay anything…"

  16. Anonymous says:

    Aethec

    You may have a point about them being a vocal minority. At any rate, the vocal minority is causing quite a hubbub, and it's best to appease any customer. If Microsoft would provide similar levels of support for Windows XP, people wouldn't pirate it, and if they allowed people to downgrade to XP without paying for a completely different license, there would be less piracy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @Granger, you're totally wrong. Customers simply LOVE Windows 7. Windows 7 has sold 350 million copies within 18 months — making it the fastest selling operating system in history. Windows 7 is the single most popular operating system in North America, Europe, Oceania and all other developed parts of the world. XP is still used by only the pirated Chinese users where piracy rates are over 99%. Windows 7 is the greatest operating system of all time and 99.9999% people LOVE Windows 7.

  18. Anonymous says:

    AntiLuddite: Everyone is happy smiling oh gosh so happy I can't even stand it oh wow I'm getting dizzy haha chinese hackers!

    Microsoft has slowly been losing stock value since January, and slowly losing market-share since way before that.

  19. Anonymous says:

    @Too many sites don't work with IE9

    "Gmail and some other google sites don't work with IE9."

    Sure they do. Millions of people are using gmail with IE9 fine.

    It seems therfore much more likely that you are having troubles with some other piece of software on your computer like a broken IE addon or some malware or adware disrupting your access to Google sites.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Also, fun quote from Steve Ballmer:

    “Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”

    Server operators are generally pretty techie. They represent the subset of society that actually knows what they're talking about.

    Windows phone 7 is a joke, too. It pales in comparison to Android and to a lesser extent iOS.

    The only reason that Windows wins on the home desktop market is because they have exclusivity contracts with the vast majority of pc manufactuers. This is occasionally referred to as the "Windows Tax", because most people are unaware of any companies that sell non-windows PCs.

  21. Anonymous says:

    IE9 works in Gmail if you take IE9 out of Compatability Mode.

  22. Anonymous says:

    1. I'm confused by the opening paragragh. I'm aware of the heat on Mozilla these days, but how did Google get into this? Google has an msi installer that can work fine for businesses to control updates.

    2. Windows 7 has passed XP usage in north america: gs.statcounter.com

    3. Asa's comments are not official policy, but what a community coordinator is pushing for. There are developers from Mozilla that do not agree with that policy. Yes, this is someone that should know better speaking out of turn and I realize how bad this looks, I also realize that community response has nullified his statements in the past as well.

    4. Everyone should remember that this accelerated pace from Mozilla is a one-year trial. They have stated that they are going to re-evaluate how they believe it was received once it has run its course. As it stands right now one shouldn't expect Firefox 11 by the end of 2012.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Windows has 90% market share. Linux has 1%. Linux is a pathetic joke.

    Windows server has 66% market share. Linux server is a joke.

    Windows Phone 7 is beautiful, elegant and is going to destroy Android within a couple of years. Android is a joke.

    Overall, open source and Linux are just pathetic compared to Windows 7, Office 2010, IE9, Bing, Hotmail, Visual Studio 2010, Windows Phone 7 etc.

    Microsoft FTW. Closed Source FTW.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I agree with others above: Fewer people nwould be abandoning nIE for Firefox or Chrome if XP users could upgrade to IE9. Yes, they wouldn't be able to take advantage of hardware acceleration but they'd still be able to get the other benefits. And XP is a workhorse… end of life or not, it's going to be around for a good long time yet.

  25. Anonymous says:

    It does seem to be an 'or' question and Microsoft is clearly on the side of enterprises. To claim otherwise is an insult. If you were on my side as a consumer I wouldn't have to wait 2 years (!!!) between releases.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anti-Luddite: A more up-to-date statistic has Microsoft at 16 percent market share for servers, and linux at 71 percent. The difference is made of BSD and OSX servers for the most part. This is based off of "actual servers", not "registered servers", because most people don't register their server, and how exactly does one register a linux server, anyway?

    Nobody uses Windows Phone 7, most stores don't carry it because it doesn't sell, nobody has ever uttered the phrase "I really want that new Windows 7 phone", and as a former Windows 6.5 phone user, Windows phone is terrible. My HD2 was destroyed by my boot when I switched back to android.

    Also, I can say that I have used both Windows and Linux extensively. I used Windows until about 4 years ago, and now I use Linux exclusively on my home computer, but often times am required to fix my windows-using friends computers (it's important to note that I hardly, if ever, have to fix my friends' linux computers unless to inform them that it's a hardware malfunction).Linux is the better environment for the desktop. No, it's not the more popular one. As I said, Windows comes on almost all computers that aren't Macs, and the profit model for a free operating system is hardly one with room for advertising.

    Microsoft = greedy corporation

    Linux = computer users who help each other out.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Whoops, put your name in the name field, as though I were choosing a sender. My bad, stupid texting…

  28. Anonymous says:

    Linux is so pathetic, fugly, unproductive and unusable compared to the beautiful, productive and elegant Windows 7 that only 1% people use Linux.

    Windows Phone 7 is nothing like Windows Mobile 6.5. Windows Phone 7 (especially with the mango update) is the greatest mobile OS of all time.

    No one uses Linux. Everyone LOVES Windows 7. Get over it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @Too many sites don't work with IE9

    The sites you specifically mention 'not working' with IE9 do work by default. Please try "Reset Internet Explorer Settings" from Internet Explorer Options Advanced tab. Else it might be a problematic add-on. Make sure all add-ons are up to date or use "IEXPLORE -EXTOFF" to test if any are causing problems.

    Visit windows.microsoft.com/…/ie-9 for further assistance.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am sticking with Mac OS and Firefox 😛

  31. Anonymous says:

    AntiLuddite, you haven't said anything regarding the point I made, we're going in circles.

    Do you think I'm WRONG when I say that it is almost impossible to buy a computer without Windows on it?

    If you think I am, give me an example of several manufacturers that provide non-windows computers. I know of three, System76, Macintosh, and Dell (except in New Zealand).

    If you think I'm right, then how exactly is it possible for a fossy project like Linux to actually have a fair shot at competition? If it had, it would clearly be the winner, as it has demonstrated on the server/tablet/mobile marketplaces.

    Your statement that Windows Phone 7 is nothing like Windows Phone 6.5 seems to validate what I said previously, that Windows Phone 6.5 is trash. Also, it said nothing about why Windows Phone 7 is the greatest, but clearly it isn't, so I'm just going to ignore that line as fanboy gushing.

    Have you ever used any Linux? How long ago? I must say that Linux has made major strides since 2000, and with it's growing community is becoming more capable all the time. I suggest you try it, at the very least so you can be more informed about it when the opportunity arises to discuss it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I really think IE9 was a great move in the right direction, with finally investing in standards and all…

    But this post is pure self-aggrandizement! "Tyranny of the OR"… don't make me laugh!

    Your competitors manage to release their newest Browser-Versions for a still supported WinXP (not even speaking of OSX and Linux) and you don't want to achieve that? I guess there's pretty big OR somewhere in that…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Funny…I like frequent browser releases, where rendering issues are actually fixed, it doesn't break backwards compatibility, and does what it should. Rapid release browsers do this.

    IE does not. IE is a sluggard that barely passes on HTML/CSS compatibility, and just now at version 9 handles javascript the right way. The slow releases are the problem. Enterprise demands slow releases because enterprise software is terrible. Websites should be able to withstand browser upgrades. This is almost never the case with IE.

    Please, for the better of all of us, stop developing and supporting IE.

  34. Anonymous says:

    "Enterprise demands slow releases because enterprise software is terrible."

    Here, Here! The web would be a much better place without Internet Explorer!

  35. Anonymous says:

    It's extremely easy to get notebooks and netbooks with Linux. But people simply don't choose them. In the netbook market Linux failed just like the notebook market.

    And yes, I've tried every recent Ubuntu and Kubuntu releases. They are so incredibly fugly and unusable that I couldn't sustain them. They still have those ugly menus/toolbars from the 80s. In Windows Vista/7 there are no menus/toolbars. OpenOffice still uses those unproductive menus/toolbars. Office 2010 uses the productive and beautiful Ribbon UI. I can go on and on. With unity they had a chance to break away from fugly UI design. But yet again they have blown it. It is still riddled with menus/toolbars all over the place.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Menus / toolbars are the most intuitive and obvious way to access functions. Also, you can't possibly be saying that Windows 7 and it's asanine "ribbon" interface are anywhere near the user-friendliness/intuitiveness of the default Gnome in Ubuntu, and you're definitely deluded if you think that Windows 7 is prettier than the default Gnome look. Also, Gnome is more customizable. You can't really customize Windows 7 other than changing the basic color. At any rate, that's all opinion based.

    It's actually pretty difficult to get a Linux based netbook. Google shopping resulted in one refurbished linux netbook on the first page. Find me a couple good Linux netbooks.

  37. Anonymous says:

    @Timothy Warren

    "and just now at version 9 handles javascript the right way"

    Actually IE9 handles javascript a fair way better than Chrome 12 does and about the same as FF5 which is 4 months newer.

    http://test262.ecmascript.org/

  38. Anonymous says:

    Windows Aero is a BILLION times more beautiful than GNOME. Menus/toolbars are fugly and unproductive and unintuitive. Period. And no matter how much you "customize" Gnome, it's never usable. You can't put lipstick on a  pig and make it beautiful.

    When netbooks first came out they shipped with Linux. But customers complained. They wanted Windows. And therefore manufacturers provide Windows.

    Windows 7 FTW. Linux is fugly. That's the bottom line.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You're comparing the basic Gnome setup to Aero. How about comparing Compiz Fusion to Aero? You can't really.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

  40. Anonymous says:

    The day you ship a decent browser for the most used Operating System in the "entreprise" world (Windows XP) you may obtain the right to criticize other browsers vendors.

    For the time being just stop trying to create new fanboys from the IT world.

    We aren't stupid, the uproar about the new Firefox policy is due to the fact that we all know that Microsoft decided to let us rot with and old and slow browser and Firefox was the best available alternative.

  41. Anonymous says:

    When I read the title I thought you were going to make an XP version IE 9 and an XP and Vista version of IE10…

    Funny how you think "All Windows Customers" are using the latest version of Windows, because that's not my experience, especially with the enterprise customers.

  42. Anonymous says:

    anyone criticising the lack of IE9 for XP in a post that's about stability might be missing the point, which is that enterprises want to be left to use the thing that's working for them without it running out of support. IE6 is still getting security updates – after years. Other browsers stop being supported after weeks or months. Getting the new and shiny isn't a priority for some people – and if anyone can find me a business that wants to update browsers every six weeks I'll eat my hat…

  43. As the others do,

    Microsoft in here for giving a better and secured browse experience,

    must not expose functionally where for compatibility a simple button on interface

    would charge directly to the user different settings for work with.

    Just like in switch to Private Browsing,

    less checkings available must be in set as "Click and Use".

    Terms acknowledgements page must to advise what was in left out for this browser experience in a try to make things work faster.

    As i saw in here is that Internet Explorer do not want to put security in charge to the user,

    but maybe a configuration setting where it work as switch for "General BrowserInternet Explorer"

    is my contribution and market idea in here for make things work better.

    Thanks.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hey losers, if you care so much about your customers and do you really want that they run the latest and greatest software, i want to see upgrade from XP/Vista/Seven to Windows 8 with the same price tag like OS X 10.6 and 10.7

  45. Anonymous says:

    You're fighting a losing battle here, Microsoft. Users who know what they're doing are simply not interested in IE. It offers no benefits over the other browers, usually only bringing in features others have already had for a while but claiming them as new as if IE was the first to have them (InPrivate browsing and tabs, for starters). IE has been a pain the ass of web developers for so long that we don't care what you do with it now. The best thing for the internet would be if IE would just find a corner to quietly die in so proper browsers can get on with introducing new features for the benefit of the internet as a whole. Please stop trying to portray Microsoft as in any way innovative when the truth is that not a single Microsoft product is original; all have been borrowed, bought or stolen from elsewhere.

  46. Anonymous says:

    "Windows has 90% market share. Linux has 1%. Linux is a pathetic joke.

    Windows server has 66% market share. Linux server is a joke.

    Windows Phone 7 is beautiful, elegant and is going to destroy Android within a couple of years. Android is a joke.

    Overall, open source and Linux are just pathetic compared to Windows 7, Office 2010, IE9, Bing, Hotmail, Visual Studio 2010, Windows Phone 7 etc.

    Microsoft FTW. Closed Source FTW"

    Firstly, your server market share stats are total bollocks, but more importantly, if you look up the top 500 supercomputers, you'll see that all but 5 run linux or some other unix variant, with only 5 running windows (and none using mac :D).

    Linux's market share with respect to the desktop is a guess. Don't forget that most people will buy a Windows PC, so that counts as windows userbase, but many will remove windows to install Linux. There are two things to consider there: 1. the market does not know that this person no longer uses windows, and 2. there's no real way of knowing how many people use linux because it's not sold.

    The fact that you're so pro-windows and anti-linux I think demonstrates that you've never really used Linux, because if you had you'd see how much better it is for accomplishing virtually any task than windows. Either that or you've tried it but just couldn't get to grips with it. Or you're about 12 years old. Never mind.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @hAl : Windows XP on my old computer (core2duo e8500 3GBRAM HDD@5400RPM with tons of softwares installed) is faster than Windows 7 on my new computer (core i5 650 4GB RAM HDD@7200RPM with almost no softwares). There's no way XP will be gone soon. So, IE8 will be also there for a long time. Microsoft really should bring IE9 to XP.

    We'll see with Windows 8, if Microsoft can make it as fast as XP.

  48. Anonymous says:

    IE8 still has the best UI of all browsers. IE9 took a big step back in this regard.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I have windows 7 and i hate firefox, google chrome, etc.     Lately windows have had a bug with me with the themes like i click on windows 7 basic theme then i click on windows 7 aero theme.  It says it failed to change.  I clicked on windows classic theme then go to windows 7 aero and it works.

  50. Anonymous says:

    @AntiLuddite

    I hope you're joking. First of all, Linux is just a kernel, not an operating system. You will find that the Linux kernel is far superior to the Windows kernel in terms of performance. Same with the *BSD kernels as well.

    If you're talking about the GNU operating system, then the only argument I can see for not using it is for backwards compatibility with your Windows applications.

    As for desktop environments, this isn't limited to GNOME. There are plenty of other desktop environments out there: KDE, Xfce, LXDE etc.

    As for Internet Explorer, I have no idea what you're talking about. Out of all of the browsers I have tried, the only major browser worse than IE was Safari.

  51. Anonymous says:

    With regards to Microsoft's criticism of Mozilla:

    Many businesses have the belief that their web browser only needs to be updated every few years. Six months is a long time. If Mozilla says they don't want to support businesses, I can almost see why.

    I don't see any reason why Mozilla-based browsers couldn't be used at an enterprise level (except for ignorance).

  52. Anonymous says:

    "We want all Windows customers to have the best experience of the Web."

    Hey, come on now! Don't give up on Internet Explorer!

  53. Anonymous says:

    @Steve and @Andrew

    The market share stats are based on web traffic data, so anyone who installs Linux on a Windows PC (what an idiot) counts as a Linux user. en.wikipedia.org/…/OS_market_share

    And who cares about supercomputers? We are talking about what billions of normal users use. They hate Linux and love Windows 7.

    Windows Kernel is infinitely better than LinSux kernel. Windows 7 is faster and architecturally far better than Linux.

    I have used Gnome, KDE and Unity — all of them SUCK big time compared to Windows 7. They are incredibly fugly, outdated and unproductive. On the other hand, Windows 7 is beautiful, productive, elegant, fast, secure and a joy to use.

    That's why EVERYONE prefers Windows 7 to the pathetic LinSux. Windows 7 FTW. LinSux is pathetic.

  54. Anonymous says:

    People slating GNOME for not looking pretty clearly haven't spent much time with it. As a poster above said, Compiz Fusion enables a great hardware-accelerated, shiny-looking GUI.

    I don't see how anyone can stick to just one operating system these days, especially if you're a web developer. I use Windows / Linux, IIS / Apache, PHP / C#, and I'm fond of all them, they all have different strengths (and admittedly weaknesses).

    Windows XP users should stop whining – you're using an old operating system. If nothing else, upgrade for the added security of Windows 7, in addition to all the great new features.

  55. Anonymous says:

    O the hypocrisy!! All Windows customers? No wait ONLY Windows 7 customers. XP is not even Windows any more. Wait, neither is Vista considered Windows because IE10 is only being offered for Windows 7. O the hypocrisy!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Why the hell I wasn't suprised to see full scale flamewar with all sides using mostly rhetorics.

    Trolls are by the way out in force, but that was expected…

    BTW: That price for upgarde from 7 to 8 is price for for going to new OS not bloody service pack…

  57. Anonymous says:

    Companies need to change their habits, and actually make code that lasts rather than piling up hacks. As in: follow standards. Browsers move fast, but standards don't. HTML4 sites and older still work today (and I haven't heard of browsers planning to remove HTML4 support). So code for standards, not for browsers, and you won't have to test your apps for each browser release. Then if something is buggy, it's a problem in the browser, not in your sites. And with a quick release cycle, chances are it'll be fixed quickly, especially if it's a regression.

  58. Anonymous says:

    @Stifu The web developer's job is actually the opposite. Yes, every browser has some bugs, but you're required to fix them, even if it would mean you'll have to use proprietary, non-standard features or sometimes dirty hacks. The goal is to make the website usable and available to as many visitors as possible.

  59. Anonymous says:

    @JM: I am a web developer. Often, I see hacks that could have been easily avoided. In some specific cases, they can't be avoided, but you can still use them in a way that won't break in the future, or with well-behaved browsers.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Granger: In my country (Brazil), most of the vendors sell pc with linux, because it´s cheaper. then, people just remove linux and install a pirate copy of windows XP. I Still prefer windows 7.

  61. Anonymous says:

    But i like GNU´s and windows´ C libraries.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Sorry: C Standard library, not windows´ C library

  63. Anonymous says:

    Before you brag about how business friendly you are, how about fixing the MMC bug caused by installing IE 9 on Server 2008?  It's pretty bad when MS products cant work with MS products.  Get it together guys or give up the browser business.

  64. Anonymous says:

    As a Web Application Developer I am forced to support all currently *used* versions of browsers.

    Supporting Firefox 5 and Firefox 4 (or even 3) is a piece of cake.

    Ditto with any version of Chrome or Safari or Opera.

    However supporting IE9 is ok (I'll save the bug rants and lack of XP support for another day) but supporting IE8, and IE7, and IE6 is the absolute worst part of my work.

    IE's Jurassicly slow pace might be good for very slow moving enterprises with massive amounts of red tape, etc. but for most end users (corporate or otherwise) it is unbearably slow and just makes Microsoft look incapable of competing with other browsers.

    Currently the following things have flew by Microsoft and they have failed to keep up:

    1.) Web Browser – Too late, too little, and all the legacy bugs are still there under the covers making painful errors popup for developers that aren't aware they are still lurking beneath.

    2.) Mobile Phones – Wow, unbelievable that Microsoft totally botched this one.  Not a single worthy device/OS/mobile browser by Microsoft on the market to date.

    3.) Tablets – Again, wow utter failure.  Microsoft even had the technology before Apple, but failed to commercialize it.  In case you haven't heard enough from the market, Windows8 is not the solution – hybrid OS's are just a failure waiting to happen – tailor to the device! Usability suffers massively if you try and mash one into the other.  Look at the current windows tablet offerings – nothing but pure fail.. keyboard doesn't work in flash, or any native game, or pretty much any application.. touch sensitivity is worse than circa 1995 tech.

    4.) Reality. Yup, there I said it.  Microsoft has lost the technology war.  Google, Apple, RIM, and anyone with a pulse can and has lapped Microsoft "in-slow-vation"

    R.I.P. Microsoft Innovation

    1990 – 2004

  65. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I was censored for being unflattering?

  66. Anonymous says:

    "They are considering a fix to be delivered later this year"

    no rush guys.  i'll just avoid ie9 like a bill collector

  67. jader3rd says:

    @Claude Wolteche,

    If you bought your computer two years ago with XP, your computer isn't obsolete. It can still do the tasks it was purchased to do. What it won't be able to do is advance with new platforms/applications.

  68. Anonymous says:

    And Windows8 will not support IE8 or less or, iirc, even IE9. Who is calling the kettle black? Since when has Microsoft been the bastion of support for all customers?

  69. Anonymous says:

    @Rob: What MS means is that they'll continue to provide security patches even for old versions, not just the greatest and latest browser from them like Mozilla is doing. That is what this blog post is about, not that they'll make sure each IE version runs on all of their past, present and future OS.

  70. Anonymous says:

    What sane person uses IE?

  71. Anonymous says:

    Your biggest mistake with this post is trying to equate windows with enterprise, then saying ie is therefor the browser best suited for enterprise. IE for windows. Fine. I get it. IE for ANYTHING ELSE, not so much. Enterprise level service should include your product on competing platforms, like OS X. Minimally OS X. Having a browser that only runs on one system is not enterprise.

  72. Anonymous says:

    firefox 4.0 has some bugs , when I open http://www.seriesdvds.com , it's crushed .

  73. Anonymous says:

    This seems like a joke to me. Although I use Windows, I don't think IE will ever be a browser for me.

  74. Anonymous says:

    IE9 is the new IE6. Supported until 2020? Well done again, MS, holding back the Internet as usual. I hope web developers in 2020 will curse you all day.

  75. Anonymous says:

    @IE9 is the new IE6 – An old version of browser holds internet back until it is used by people, not until it is supported.

  76. Anonymous says:

    My comments don't seem to go through 🙁

    People, please realize that Win 7 shipped with IE8, so it's actually IE8 we have to support until 2020.

    And that, dear Microsoft, is your very own, self-created OR.

    Though, I have to admit that updating IE became a lot easier over the last few years.

  77. Anonymous says:

    @Claude Wolteche : forget that. XP is fast and Vista/7 slow. So you're lucky to have XP 🙂

    @jader3rd : he'll still be able to do new stuff on the web… just without IE.

  78. Anonymous says:

    IE is too integrated into the operating system.  Until it becomes truly STAND ALONE, it will always be a massive security hole. Quite frankly, I feel the need to install a software firewall just to block IE from accessing the internet, because some silly installer might load an HTML page in IE after install, and that page might install malware through activeX.  But if IE is banned from accessing the net, that can't happen.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I can still install Firefox 3 despite them being version 200 next month, and it will still work better than IE8 and below in 10 years.

  80. Yuhong Bao says:

    "An old version of browser holds internet back until it is used by people, not until it is supported."

    For example, IE 5.01 SP4 on Win2000 was supported until 2010. But in practice IE 5.x was already dying by 2005.

  81. JFTR:  Five IE = 6+7+8+9+10, seven OS = XP/SP3+2003/SP?+Vista/SP1+2008+7 plus two I don't know.  This does not cover IE6 on windows 2000 since 2010-06, not even basic security fixes.  It also doesn't offer an upgrade path for these boxes (typically with limited RAM), not even for folks willing to pay (not too much) for an upgrade.  

  82. Anonymous says:

    IE 9 is a very usable browser.  However, until IE 9 (or 10) comes out-of-the-box with the ability to sync my settings (e.g. IDs/passwords, favorites, MRU lists, etc.) across multiple machines (come on, use that "SkyDrive" thing :-), I'm just going to keep using Chrome as my default browser.  The only time I fire up IE at home is if I need to hit Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) for e-mail (which is rare).  Otherwise, I live and work within Chrome as my default browser.