The release of Internet Explorer 9 beta garnered a lot of attention and positive reviews. Cribbing from Chrome's UI and significantly boosting speed over previous iterations of the browser, IE9 looks like a real winner. Too bad Microsoft left Windows XP users — more than half of all Windows users — out in the cold.
In a statement to The Register, Ryan Gavin, senior director of IE business and marketing, said Windows XP users couldn't download IE9. Not now; not ever. Instead, Microsoft plans to "continue to focus on how we do a great job with Windows 7," Gavin said. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
The roadblock here is that XP doesn't have the capabilities required to support the hardware acceleration and HTML5 features of IE9. The hardware acceleration in IE9, according to The Register, comes courtesy of DirectX 10 — an update to the DirectX program that does not run on Windows XP unless it's been "modified." But quick Web search shows a handful of sites where DirectX 10 can be downloaded onto machines running XP, which leads me to believe that eventually someone will find a way to dump IE9 on XP, whether Microsoft likes it or not.
So basically, microsoft isn't going to offer it BUT someone will mod it so you can get it on XP eventually. Modding a microsoft product to work with a microsoft operating system, ahhh the good old days have finally come back to us.
So, how many of you actually use IE right now? Firefox? Chrome? Just curious.