SOFTWARE FLOGGER Microsoft has let slip that Windows Vista users won't be able to run its upcoming Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) web browser.
Microsoft was demonstrating IE10 at its MIX 2011 developer event at Las Vegas, not only showing the web browser running on Windows 8 but running it on an Nvidia Tegra chip. Later, Microsoft announced that only Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will have access to IE10, leaving Windows Vista users in the lurch.
Microsoft's decision to allow Windows 7 and Windows 8 users access to IE10 is similar to what the software company did with Windows XP users for IE9. However Windows XP users had been supported with the latest version of IE for close to 10 years, whereas IE10 is expected to come out sometime in 2012 with Windows 8, meaning that Windows Vista users will have had less than six years of Internet Explorer support.
Microsoft released IE9 last month amid much fanfare and the browser represented a significant effort by Microsoft to drag IE to a point where it could compete with Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera. Although Mozilla's Firefox 4 massively eclipsed the IE9 'download record', Microsoft's web browser has been commended for being one of the firm's most standards compliant web browsers. Although, looking back on the previous versions of Internet Exploder, perhaps that wasn't quite the achievement it might seem.
Intel won't be particularly happy with Microsoft's IE10 demonstration either, since the software outfit chose to show how Windows 8 and its web browser fared on the ARM-based Tegra chip. Earlier this week Intel launched its Oak Trail Z670 Atom chip, which it is pitching at tablet manufacturers, using Windows compatibility as its big selling point. Microsoft, on the other hand, was keen to publicise Windows' ARM capabilities rather than show how Windows 8 fares on x86 chips.
Microsoft's decision to leave Windows Vista users in the lurch with IE10 could be construed as a ploy to get them to upgrade to Windows 8. However with capable alternatives available from Google, Mozilla and Opera, it's more than likely Microsoft will see a plateau or drop in IE's market share rather than an increase in Windows 8 sales. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ