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  1. #1
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Why Microsoft won't update IE

    Microsoft has said that they won't release a new version of IE until the next version of windows (it's unclear whether that is the next XP service pack or Longhorn which according to the latest intel, may not be released until 2006). At first, this seems like total insanity. I mean, this would mean that they will get totally crushed by Firebird, Opera and the rest of the gang. When the new IE beast makes it out of redmond, Firebird will already be on everyones desktop! Or... ?

    Then it struck me, when I remembered visiting a friend whose computer was running Windows 95 OSR2, and she was using the preinstalled version of IE3. I think this was in 1999, around the time when Windows98SE was released. She simply had not bothered to upgrade her browser, even though IE had made huge leaps since she got her computer. I think this behaviour is very common.

    Her actions (or lack of) makes sense, though - browsers are not really marketed, not by Microsoft and not by the Mozilla foundation. They are just a thing that comes with the OS, nowadays. Apples Safari - that one is being marketed, since Apple knows that will no longer be a viable browser for Mac.) Lack of marketing, coupled with the fact that larger sites are very good at backwards compatibility, doesn't exactly make users eager to upgrade.

    So, back to the original question - why wont Microsoft release any upgrades to IE until longhorn? Could it be that the large majority of people simply don't upgrade their browsers between operating systems anyway?
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  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    So, back to the original question - why wont Microsoft release any upgrades to IE until longhorn? Could it be that the large majority of people simply don't upgrade their browsers between operating systems anyway?
    I totally agree. I don't think it's right (on the parts of Microsoft or the general public) but I agree. Another big reason: MS is spending a lot of money on developing something they give away for free. This is not their MO, nor should it be when you look at it from a business perspective.

  3. #3
    Sidewalking anode's Avatar
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    One could take a timeline of IE releases and look at some traffic stats to compare what % of people are running the version of IE that came with their OS and prove or disprove that hypothesis. Sounds tedious though - I'm not volunteering,
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  4. #4
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anode
    One could take a timeline of IE releases and look at some traffic stats to compare what % of people are running the version of IE that came with their OS and prove or disprove that hypothesis. Sounds tedious though - I'm not volunteering,
    Out of everyone here at work, about 90% of the people using IE6 are using it because their systems have Windows XP pro. The rest of us running Windows 2000 and IE6 are just up to date. Even my manager still has IE 5.01, and our intern has IE 5.5. I don't know many people who keep up to date with browsers outside of the Web development/design world.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot ComputerBob's Avatar
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    Users on dial-up accounts are probably even less likely to upgrade their browsers than users who have high-speed Internet connections.

    I absolutely loathe having to spend hours and hours downloading a bloated MS upgrade or patch, using my dial-up account.
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