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IE9 May Not Be Enough To Save IE

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-kill-6-please dept.

Microsoft 328

An anonymous reader writes "The October market share numbers are in and Net Applications' numbers show a surprising drop in IE8 market share — the first time since the browser was introduced. Strangely, IE9 has not gained much and IE7 as well as IE6 are losing as well. The only two browsers gaining are Chrome and Safari — and both browsers have hit new record market shares. The frenzy around IE8 may have subsided already, and Microsoft is under tremendous pressure to roll out IE9 soon. StatCounter's numbers indicate that Firefox is close to surpassing IE in Europe."

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Hmm. (3, Insightful)

tenchikaibyaku (1847212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089818)

The frenzy around IE9 may have subsided already and [...]

What frenzy? :-)

Re:Hmm. (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090092)

Sharks go into a feeding frenzy when things are being ripped up.

Re:Hmm. (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090608)

    I'm pretty sure it was more like a tasteless odorless chunk of chum was thrown into the ocean, and there was no reaction. There was no interest at all.

    More importantly, it hasn't even been released yet. It is available as a beta, but you have to implicitly install it.

    First, go to Google, and search for msie 9 [google.com]

    The first link takes you the Internet Explorer 9 Test Drive [microsoft.com]

    Which the download button doesn't download, but takes you to the Explorer9Beta page [microsoft.com]

    (Does Ford know that they've hijacked the "Explorer" name?)

    The download button does actually download.

    And no, I'm not a fanboy. I was just curious. Don't ask about performance though, all I got to was the download page. I didn't actually install it. :)

Re:Hmm. (-1, Offtopic)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090804)

The frenzy around IE9 may have subsided already and [...]

The one the Slashdot editors try to pretend there was in order to stir up some more juicy-post-count boosting flamewars. IE9 beta came out. Surprisingly seemed quite good and certainly zippy. Some people made comments. Apparently that's a "frenzy" to Slashdot editors.

Reports of IE9's death greatly exaggerated. (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090836)

Talk about jumping to conclusions:

This is not the result Microsoft would have hoped for, but the writing was on the wall when we heard last week from CEO Steve Ballmer that IE9 was downloaded only 10 million times within 6 weeks after launch. That is a big number, but given the expensive marketing campaign, Microsoft surely needed much more. We remember: Apple got 11 million Safari 4 downloads within one week and with a simple press release.

Err, that's 10 million beta downloads according to the linked article, making it the most popular IE beta ever(according to Ballmer). That's in contrast to the Safari number which was a regular version launch.

And the drop in IE8 numbers was:

This trend is even more puzzling as IE8 shed market share for the first time in its history and fell from 29.06% to 29.01% (a number that does not included shares of IE8 fragmented versions as Net Applications recently decided not to publish this data anymore.)

A drop of 0.05%? That seems to be well within the margin of error and might have to do with the non-inclusion of IE8 fragmented versions.

The article is bad and the title and summary of the Slashdot are even worse. Lets save the news of IE9's death after it has been released(in Spring 2011), okay?

Re:Reports of IE9's death greatly exaggerated. (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090922)

TBH the drop IE usage is probably more to do with the "browser choice" update finally getting to more users.

Is it worth saving? (2, Insightful)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089828)

Seemingly not!

IE-only websites (2, Interesting)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090010)

And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure." Nevermind that he was using the latest version of Safari, which is likely more secure than any version of IE.

What they actually meant was "we are too lazy to program for anything but IE... but that's OK, because 99% of the world uses IE... right?"

Re:IE-only websites (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090198)

And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure." Nevermind that he was using the latest version of Safari, which is likely more secure than any version of IE.

What they actually meant was "we are too lazy to program for anything but IE... but that's OK, because 99% of the world uses IE... right?"

Now that's interesting because they are making a positive claim about browser security. They are not merely saying "at this time we only support Internet Explorer," which would be completely different.

Since we like to solve problems with litigation in this country, to the point that there are often few or no effective alternatives, I have an idea. Why don't the makers of Safari and other browsers sue the State of Georgia for libel? They are making a claim of insecurity. As evidence, save the snippet of code/markup that checks the user-agent string and produces the message stating "your browser is insecure". Claim that the message is libel because it is based on merely not being IE, not on any rigorous study of browser security, and therefore cannot use "truth" as a defense. In fact it would not be hard to come up with evidence contradicting it. Therefore, intentional or not, it amounts to an attempt to coerce users to use IE and therefore Windows for no good reason.

The point is to make it more expensive to defend such a suit than it would have been to make a standard, browser-agnostic site. A government agency in particular has no excuse for not making their sites as accessible as possible. They are not like private companies where you can just go to a competitor if a given company refuses to be reasonable.

Re:IE-only websites (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090322)

And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure." Nevermind that he was using the latest version of Safari, which is likely more secure than any version of IE.

That depends on your definition of secure. IE 8 runs in a low privileged Protected Mode [microsoft.com] by default. This results in the browser running at a privileged level that is much lower than the user who launched it and is quite effective at preventing certain attacks from working.

Last I checked, Apple still hasn't added support for low privileged/low integrity mode in Safari, which means the Safari binary has all of the privileges of the user who launched it.

Re:IE-only websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090746)

From what I remember, they haven't added full support for ASLR yet either (http://secunia.com/gfx/pdf/DEP_ASLR_2010_paper.pdf). This means successful buffer overflows (if found) can cause exploit code to run much easier than it can on other browsers who have embraced ASLR.

Re:IE-only websites (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090858)

And a comment that contained only factual information that happened to compare IE8 favourably against Safari, was modded down Troll almost instantly.

Re:IE-only websites (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090412)

What happened when you clicked on the link?

"We have detected that the browser you are using is incompatible with this application. This site requires Internet Explorer 5.0 and above, Netscape 7.0 and above, or Firefox 1.0 and above"

Silver Lining (4, Insightful)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089840)

IE9 might not be gaining market share, but thank the diety of your choosing that IE6 is losing market share. Microsoft should probably throw an office party for the occasion.

Re:Silver Lining (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089910)

Goes to show that Europeans are just that bit smarter than Americans

Re:Silver Lining (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090268)

Naww, EU regulators just have more teeth and US "regulators." The 'anything goes' version of American capitalism is sub-optimal.

Re:Silver Lining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090294)

Do you think that maybe the fact that Microsoft must offer users a choice of browser when installing Windows in Europe might have had an effect? Or the orders forcing Microsoft to sell unbundled versions? Or is it just the stupidity of Americans?

Re:Silver Lining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090718)

Why not all three? Why so quick to defend thy dumbass countrymen?

Re:Silver Lining (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090572)

No, what they should be doing is the responsible thing and fixing the mess they started.
Release a sandboxed-to-complete-hell-and-back version of IE6 with ActiveX, problem solved.
It's not like they will pay to upgrade their intranet software or applications if it just works now.

Will they do it? Will they hell. It took them bloody long enough to get off their asses and make IE7, which was terrible in both standards they decided to support as well as interface.

As Wham! Once Wrote... (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089874)

Wake me up before you go-go...

Hang on a minute... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089878)

Since when was IE9 actually launched? Are we seriously predicting the doom of IE because not so many people downloaded a browser that isn't even released yet?

There are legitimate concerns for web developers about how widely IE9 will be adopted, not least the operating systems it will run on (or not), but for goodness' sake, this whole story is just premature.

Re:Hang on a minute... (0, Troll)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089982)

Since when was IE9 actually launched? Are we seriously predicting the doom of IE because not so many people downloaded a browser that isn't even released yet?

Help... About... IE8... hmmm.

Start... All programs... Windows Update.... Huh... no IE9...

Google: IE9 ... Download the Beta?

Yeah it looks like they're making a big deal over an unreleased product. I think they should slow it down some. I prefer MORE time in between my IE releases, who knows if this next one is going to break my application.

Re:Hang on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090432)

I prefer MORE time in between my IE releases, ...

Like the 5 years between IE 6 and 7?

Re:Hang on a minute... (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090066)

Oddly enough, the only people downloading IE9 *beta* seem to have done so within a few weeks of it being made available and so it's reached saturation. Regular users aren't going to download a beta version of "the internet" and techies grabbed it, installed it, tried it and forgot about it pretty quickly.

I eagerly await the article a couple of weeks after the IE9 RC is made available trumpeting the massive increase in IE9's market share.

Re:Hang on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090330)

You don't follow MS pre-releases do you? You'd be depressed to learn how many people installed the W7 betas. There are literally millions of people who eagerly await and install all trial products with Microsoft's name attached. Reading their fans' forums is eerie; it's like entering into another universe.

Re:Hang on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090584)

Yeah, hardly any undeserved sense of superiority among the posters. Signifigantly fewer assholes than you'll find on several of your more popular linux boards.

Re:Hang on a minute... (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090576)

Yeah! At one point chrome, safari, opera and firefox had 0 market share. That didn't mean they were a failure. It meant they didn't exist.

Re:Hang on a minute... (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090668)

I can't understand it, about once a day we have someone complain that /. posts stories after everyone else. "Late to the party" is the phrase I seem to recall. For once they are ahead of the curve and now someone complains that they are "premature". There's no satisfying some people :)

Re:Hang on a minute... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090724)

Since when was IE9 actually launched? Are we seriously predicting the doom of IE because not so many people downloaded a browser that isn't even released yet?

Anonymous Brave Guy, meet Mr. Hyperbole.

Save IE? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089882)

Really? I hate IE as much as the next web developer, but I don't think it needs to be saved. Seems like its doing well enough already.

Re:Save IE? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090532)

Much better than it actually deserves to be, really.

If 6 Was 9... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089886)

Now, if IE6 turned out to be IE9
I don't mind, I don't mind
Alright, if all the hippies cut off all their hair
I don't care, I don't care
Dig, 'cause I got my own browser to live through
And I ain't gonna copy you...

Re:If 6 Was 9... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090134)

Newsflash! Microsoft rename browser from IE to IB! Mozilla also change name of browser to UB!

Release schedule clash results in IB6, UB9.

Save? (5, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089914)

They've to 60% of the market! Are they losing market share? Definitely. But to claim it needs to be "saved" is ridiculous. When they're at 2% market share, then we can discuss whether or not the product will actually die and possibly go away. I realize this site likes to hate on MS, but can we be just a *BIT* less biased in the story summaries?

Also, they're under tremendous pressure to release IE9? By who? The public? You can't say people are fleeing because IE9 isn't a big deal, and then turn around and say they have to get it out because all these people are waiting for it. Reality is, the average Joe has no idea that IE9 is in development, has no idea when it will be released, and *DOESN'T CARE*. They click the blue E, and they get to the internet. And every couple years, the window looks a bit different and they don't really know why, but it still works so that's good enough. *THE MAJORITY OF WORLD ARE NOT TECH GEEKS*.

Re:Save? (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090022)

The pressure to release IE9 was internal to MS. MS is concerned in part that Chrome is making so much noise with their rapid release schedule that it makes the competition look like they are falling behind.

Re:Save? (1, Flamebait)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090124)

Care to cite that? I can't say I've ever seen an interview with anyone at Microsoft where they claim they're worried about Chrome's rapid release schedule. Again, the majority of the public have no idea when their browser even gets updated unless it notifies them with some impossible to miss notification page.

Re:Save? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090592)

Care to not be a lazy ass and search for something yourself if you're actually interested? This isn't Wikipedia or formal writing, and unless you're sourcing a counter opinion (and you have sourced none of your assertions) I have no inclination to do extra work on such a trivial point.

And nobody at MS would ever say in an interview "we're scared of the competition, so we're doing this!" I mean really, how naive are you? Analysts and industry observers have said these things.

Re:Save? (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090678)

You made a claim and he asked for a source or citation. There is nothing lazy about that.

Re:Save? (2, Insightful)

k8to (9046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090850)

It's the passive-aggressive way to say "you're probably wrong" without doing any of the legwork you demand that your target perform. It's not lazy, it's annoying.

In informal discussions, it's pretty traditional to respond to claims with questions, or to challenge it with ideas of why you don't see how it works/makes sense. However, in informal discussions requiring a citation is just dumb. No one's going to go read the citation anyway.

Can slashdot accommodate vigorous debate? Sort of. Kind of poorly. Is that really what it's good at? No.

Re:Save? (2, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090030)

Frankly I fear that Mozilla's stand on H.264 will help IE a lot. I mean why download Firefox if it will not play a large amount of video on the web. If IE9 doesn't suck you will see a lot of people stick with it instead of Firefox.

Re:Save? (0)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090146)

IE9 in its current state is actually quite sweet. Not enough so that I'd switch from Opera to it mind; not quite got the features I like (though many are the sort the average user probably wouldn't bother with) - though it does LOOK good. Unless you're a heavy addon user; its definitely superior to Firefox - which really has been moving to take over IE as the 'worst browser' for a while now. Vanilla Firefox is a damn disgrace at the moment.

Re:Save? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090690)

But who uses Vanilla Firefox? I have moved to Chrome because they have the plug-ins I need.

Re:Save? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090750)

What do you mean Mozilla's stand on H.264? It's MPEG-LA that refuses to license H.264 for free software!

Re:Save? (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090496)

The issue is that for the available consumer market, IE is in the throes of death.

By "consumer" I mean, not business. Business users are probably going to still use IE for their work-related apps. Consumer meaning... people computing at home.

By "available" I mean, people who are smart enough to choose between browsers, and which one actually gets used.

Of the available consumer desktops out there, what is IE's market share there? If you subtract business users? Falling off a cliff, and that's what they are concerned about.

Popularity contests... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089916)

I'm saving my judgement until after IE9 is released. Caring about which major browser most people are using is as rediculous as voting for the winning candidate just because they are winning.

I just hope they fix the issues with text looking like crap when GPU acceleration is enabled. Firefox 4 has some of the same issues as IE9 in this regard.

Competition is Good (1, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089936)

I would prefer it if there is no clean winner. Competition is driving the companies to put serious efforts into the browser market. The result is everyone benefits from faster, more robust and frequently more secure browsers.

I like having Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE and all the others out there, at each other's throats.

Re:Competition is Good (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090154)

The real kicker is that the potential direct revenue from web browsers remains $0. Even if they win, not one of these players will be able to make a browser a profit center. Which is great for everyone who uses a browser, of course, as you mentioned.

Re:Competition is Good (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090568)

Mozilla and Opera get their revenue from their respective browsers. Microsoft makes money from users who need to buy Windows to run IE to access web applications that require IE.

Re:Competition is Good (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090434)

Yes, yes, yes. This is what fanboys of brand X forget. Having a dominant brand in any area is bad for us.
In photography, for all Canon vs. Nikon bickering, the fact that they have similar power and because they are constantly challenged by Sony, Pentax, etc. forces them to innovate.
Same with iOS vs. Android, browsers, cars and just about everything.

Personally, I'd love IE9 to be the best and coolest browser (for a while anyway). It would be yet another incentive for users to abandon IE6 or 7 and would force the others to keep up and fix long-standing issues, like the painful problems in Chrome's graphic library (Skia). I'd love to see Firefox losing some market share as a wake-up call.

FTFS (mostly offtopic) (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089944)

Statcounter is a pretty awesome site for tracking stats on a website/blog. It's transparent, easy to use, and best of all it's free (unless you want a bigger log.) I know there are a lot of options out there, but if you're looking for a free way to track the statistics on a smallish website of yours, I highly recommend you check them out.

Not a paid endorsement; I'm just a satisfied user of their services.

IE is dead in Germany (3, Informative)

Nimatek (1836530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090002)

Re:IE is dead in Germany (2, Informative)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090252)

Should check out Russia as well. IE is loosing both to Firefox and Opera. (24% vs ~32% for both)

Re:IE is dead in Germany (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090932)

Ukraine ( http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-PL-monthly-200910-201010 [statcounter.com] ) and Ukraine ( http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-PL-monthly-200910-201010 [statcounter.com] ) seem to have the weakest IE market share. 19% and 20%. Still, there are some sites that require IE (I know of 2 banks).

Re:IE is dead in Germany (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090684)

I see your Germany and I throw in a Phillipines [statcounter.com] , where Firefox is also dying BTW, and top it with some Mongolia [statcounter.com] , Malaysia [statcounter.com] , Myanmar [statcounter.com] and, the final blow, Indonesia [statcounter.com] . IE is doing extremely well in Taiwan [statcounter.com] , China [statcounter.com] and South Korea [statcounter.com] , though. I noticed that IE is doing quite well in all the "Anglo-Saxon" countries (UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

IE9 hasn't gained much? Really? (5, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090028)

Gee, I wonder why a beta browser from Microsoft isn't gaining market share. Don't predict any death knells for the browser until it's actually, you know, released. Geez.

Re:IE9 hasn't gained much? Really? (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090194)

It's not about marketshare, it's about user numbers already declining.

That means people have tried the beta, and gone back to whatever they were using before. That is not a good sign, especially for the 50% or so that are going back to an older version of IE.

Re:IE9 hasn't gained much? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090272)

Why is that a bad sign? This is a software beta. Not a Google-version of a software beta, but a real software beta, and an early beta, which is not intended for actual production use. The people who downloaded it and played with it are those people who are testing their sites, testing any of the desktop integration stuff and are just checking out the user interface. Of course they'd be returning to some other browser for day-to-day use. It would be silly to expect otherwise.

Re:IE9 hasn't gained much? Really? (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090814)

It's not about marketshare, it's about user numbers already declining.

IE user numbers have been declining for the last, oh, 6 years or so? It's not news. IE9 is supposed to change that, but it's too early to tell.

That means people have tried the beta, and gone back to whatever they were using before.

Your typical IE user won't ever bother trying a beta (he doesn't know what a "beta" is, and doesn't hang out in places where it was announced). The people who tried the beta are mostly web developers, or just curious techies. In the grand scheme of things, they are a tiny part of IE's current 50% global market share.

Re:IE9 hasn't gained much? Really? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090284)

Thank you. I'm not a fan of IE by any stretch (sadly, I'm in the more futile "Opera user" segment), but this really seems like a non-story. Maybe I'm just annoyed because of all of Samzenpus's troll stories yesterday being followed up with this, but I think the failure to note anywhere that IE 9 is in beta beyond "roll IE 9 out soon" is a significant failure in the summary.

Beautifully Gone (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090048)

Oh no I won't be able to see that more "Beautiful Web" after all -.-

Letter to IE (1, Flamebait)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090090)

Dear Internet Explorer,
Please die.
Signed-
The Internet

Hi Miss Interpret, this is Captain Obvious (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090096)

FTA:

This is not the result Microsoft would have hoped for, but the writing was on the wall when we heard last week from CEO Steve Ballmer that IE9 was downloaded only 10 million times within 6 weeks after launch.

FTA's other article, that the quote is from:

According to Ballmer, 10 million IE9 Betas have been downloaded in the six weeks after launch, making it the most successful beta browser in Microsoft's history.

See a difference there? If there were 10 million downloads of IE9 after it's launched wouldn't be surprising (it's usually not pushed out on Windows Update then), but that is actually a LOT of betas, even if people were just downloading it to see if the hardware accelerated rendering actually worked.

Who knew that one word (Betas) made that big a difference.

Re:Hi Miss Interpret, this is Captain Obvious (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090936)

Who knew that one word (Betas) made that big a difference

Looks like MS learned from Google on that point.

I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (-1, Redundant)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090106)

What's that? I need to pay you to "upgrade" my XP Pro partition to Vista or Windows 7 first? Ah hah, ah hahahah. No, but seriously... what, you are serious? Aaaaaaaaaahahahahaha! Oh, you're priceless, you really are. Unlike your software.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (0, Offtopic)

ztransform (929641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090162)

Microsoft Vista? $200. Microsoft 7? $300. Losing your hard-drive and being unable to recover because your licence is tied to a particular disk in a particular physical machine? Priceless!

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090494)

Microsoft Vista? $200. Microsoft 7? $300. Losing your hard-drive and being unable to recover because your licence is tied to a particular disk in a particular physical machine? Priceless!

It isn't, the OEM license is tied to the motherboard. New motherboard, new license. The only exception is a like-for-like replacement in order to effect a repair - if there's no like-for-like on the market, then it sucks to be you.

Interestingly, this means that Microsoft are essentially forcing small PC shops (which can't reasonably be expected to keep a good stock of spares for every PC they've ever built, not when motherboards seldom stay on the market that long) to either break the terms of the license or absorb quite a bit of additional risk over the large OEM - the customer can't very reasonably be expected to fork out for another Windows license when their motherboard failed under warranty.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (2, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090920)

Microsoft Vista? $200. Microsoft 7? $300. Losing your hard-drive and being unable to recover because your licence is tied to a particular disk in a particular physical machine? Priceless!

For well under $300 you can get about a hundred Windows 7 (10 for each version of 7, spread over the many versions) licenses for your family's computers via Technet. Or you can buy a single license for $100. Or you can buy 3 in a Family Pack for $50 each. Even the non-upgrade retail license is $170, not even close to your $300.

And there are no versions tied to a disk. The closest is an OEM version of the OS, which is tied to a motherboard. But even then, if you want to change motherboards you can just call MS and they'll happily let you reactivate provided the 5 word explanation, "I have a new motherboard."

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (-1, Flamebait)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090212)

Have fun as more and more software says "Fuck you" and you can't run it on your fancy-shmancy XP Pro any more, because you think using a decade-old OS is a great idea. Since you said "XP Pro partition," you're apparently no stranger to running multiple OSes. Get with the times, there's ways to get Win7 for pretty cheap. Find one.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090306)

Why? Is there some software that requires Win7? Oh! Right! IE9.

Chicken... meet egg.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090378)

Have fun as more and more software says "Fuck you" and you can't run it on your fancy-shmancy XP Pro any more, because you think using a decade-old OS is a great idea.

At that point it will presumably be a good time to upgrade to Linux.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090530)

Considering how big a regression Vista and 7 are, it's a rational decision to use XP if you still need Windows.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090344)

What's that, they aren't releasing software for a platform that's a decade old? Jerks! Are you equally pissed you can't get firefox 4.0 for Redhat 7.2 from Redhat? Not to mention you haven't been able to get an update in how long? It never ceases to amaze me how unreasonable people are.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090490)

Apples to oranges. Can you think of other popular Windows software that will not run on Windows XP, besides the latest version of IE?

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090558)

Direct X 10 and 11.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090634)

I was thinking along the lines of end-user applications, not APIs supported by the operating system. Sorry if I did not make this clear. I thought the intention of the question would be obvious. Users run applications. Are there other applications that users need to upgrade their version of Windows in order to use the latest version?

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090648)

Mesh

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (2, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090786)

I've never heard of Mesh. Perhaps you could think of popular applications that will not run on Windows XP? Besides, it looks like Mesh is also from Microsoft. Any popular non-Microsoft applications that will not run on Windows XP?

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090826)

Just because your unreasonable expectations have thus far been met by Herculean backwards compatibility efforts doesn't make them reasonable. If you use new API calls, it won't work on old systems. Thus, nobody ever uses new features, and everything stagnates. In another article, somebody posted that they won't upgrade to Windows Vista/7/8 because they no longer correctly run Windows 3.1 software. Insanity.

Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090738)

Calling XP 'a decade old' is misleading. Until very recently (i.e. this year), it was still shipped by MS OEMs - if you bought a Netbook in January, for example, it probably came with XP. Supporting a product that you were shipping less than a year ago is very different from supporting a decade-old product. Your comparison ti Red Hat 7.2 is misleading, because Red Hat 7.2 wasn't being sold by Red Hat early this year. You could still get updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (including updates of third-party software), which was superseded by RHEL 5 in 2007, until 2009.

Using FireFox in your example is also misleading, because it's not made by the same company, and no company has any obligation to support another company's products. A better example would be Safari on OS X, as both are made by Apple. Last time I turned on my PowerBook, running OS X 10.4, it had an update to Safari 4 waiting, which contained a back-port of most of the features of Safari 5. Apple stopped shipping OS X 10.4 long before Microsoft stopped shipping XP.

When did Microsoft stop shipping XP? I just checked on their site - apparently it was one week ago: October 22, 2010. Not quite a decade.

For me, IE = work only (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090176)

I only ever use IE for work machines, because far too many web sites I use at work are Microsoft stuff that doesn't always play well with other browsers. For most stuff at work I use Firefox.

I just don't trust IE -- for years it was one of the worst vectors for exploits, malware, and all sorts of annoying shit. If there's an equivalent to noscript for IE, I might consider using it.

Until then, IE is a "when all else fails, and you have to trust the site", otherwise, it's something I stay away from as much as possible.

Re:For me, IE = work only (0, Troll)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090500)

Don't you mean, "for years it was the only browser worth attempting to exploit"? Perhaps with a greater market share we might start seeing exploits (coughFiresheepcough) for other browsers.

Re:For me, IE = work only (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090670)

Firesheep isn't an exploit. It's a plugin that allows capturing packets and recreating other user's cookies. If you want to spread FUD, please make it believable.

Re:For me, IE = work only (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090708)

Don't you mean, "for years it was the only browser worth attempting to exploit"?

No, I don't mean that at all. I love how people on Slashdot think that they know what I mean more than I do. Firefox and Mozilla have been around for a long time, it's not like they're brand new and nobody is aware of them.

I mean IE ran with a security policy that more or less was wide open, and that you could set to "allow everything" or "allow nothing" -- invariably some %^$#^& POS web-site the company I worked for would force us to use basically expected to be able to run everything. When it didn't work, HR would say "oh, just turn down your browser security".

Basically these shitty IE specific sites would only work if you ran in the most unsafe mode that existed. The solution was to keep IE as an insecure browser because the stuff I was required to use it for demanded it.

Perhaps with a greater market share we might start seeing exploits (coughFiresheepcough) for other browsers.

I have no idea that people are going to work on exploting Firefox -- though, the example you give isn't an exploit against Firefox, it just uses it.

Things like NoScript allow me to turn off the most likely vectors of attack, or at the very least, get rid of some of the annoyances. While it doesn't stop all of them, it at least gives me better control over what I'm willing to run. I am not aware of a tool in IE that allows me to selectively say "run this, don't run that" -- I can go through the nuisance of setting a site as a trusted site, but for a one-time thing, it just doesn't work.

Mobile devices (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090226)

I wonder if the figures include iPads? Apple have shipped almsot ten million all of which are pretty much required to use Safari as their browser. I'd have to imagine ten million additional clients would show up in the stats.

Re:Mobile devices (1)

jomegat (706411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090428)

iPads are just a teardrop on the ocean. What about phone browsers? My guess is that browsing from a phone is becoming a bigger part of the pie, and IE just isn't in that game. Note that the browsers that are growing are the ones available for phones.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090234)

Does it really matter if your browser has a large market share?

We don't pay for these browsers and there are no advertisements on the browsers. What difference does it make which browser you choose?

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090298)

The larger the usage share of the browser you use, the more likely web developers will be to test their sites in the browser you use, and thus the more websites will work properly in the web browser you use.

Still Enough Market Share (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090364)

While the IE is losing ground a bit, they have enough share to make it a pain to develop web apps... I am still plagued with clients that have older IE versions and don't upgrade and I end up having to work around all the HTML and CSS standards that IE does not support or just plain ignore... So, I am glad to hear they are losing ground. I wonder if it is because web developers have stopped making exceptions in their source code for shitty IE browser support of STANDARDS and people are switching browsers to get their web pages to look the right way... Microsoft, are you listening?

Frankly... (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090388)

...I'm not impressed with any browser right now. Chrome still has privacy issues (and also has standards conformance issues), Firefox is getting very slow and will occasionally leave zombie processes, IE is as naff as always, Opera and Safari don't support the plugins that I actually do need.

And NONE of them support scripting using LaTeX or Metapost (HTML is becoming an inferior typesetting language rather than the presentation language it used to be, with virtually nobody implementing the complex standards anyway). Seems to me that if people want CSS and HTML to let you typeset, you'd be better off with a browser supporting LaTeX 2e and the A tag natively, then emulating HTML. The results can't be any worse and would add all the features people wanted in HTML5 and will doubtless pester for in HTML6.

Re:Frankly... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090464)

...I'm not impressed with any browser right now. Chrome still has privacy issues (and also has standards conformance issues), Firefox is getting very slow and will occasionally leave zombie processes

If its any consolation Firefox 4 beta is a lot faster. It is less stable than the stable version (Doh!), but I have not had to kill any zombie processes. If they get the reliability right before release FF4 could be great.

Chrome issues ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090640)

"Chrome still has privacy issues (and also has standards conformance issues)"

What issues would that be?

Stories like this make me mad (1, Redundant)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090498)

I'll probably get marked redundant, but, come on, really? IE9 hasn't been released yet! The fact that it had 10 million downloads in six weeks while IT WAS STILL IN BETA should say that IE is not dying. Its marketshare may be slipping, but not by enough to worry about.

I think the only reason this story even got posted is because this is Slashdot, and any chance to take a stab at Microsoft, whether founded on actual facts, fluff, or paranioa, always seems to be welcome.

One swallow does not a summer make (1)

Jozza The Wick (1805012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090652)

But, I recently installed Chromium on my wife's laptop. This is a person that didn't like 'Mor-zilla' (as she kept referring to FF) and doesn't like 'change', nor things that aren't 'mainstream'. She prefers Chromium over IE though...

Spin Cycle (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090692)

The spin put on this story is strange - when you look at Net Applications itself:

Windows 7 has by far the highest share of Internet Explorer 9.0 beta users. Our browser usage numbers show that Internet Explorer 9 Beta has grown about 2.5 times from 0.61% in September to 1.46% in October on the Windows 7 platform. Worldwide, Internet Explorer 9 Beta represents 0.32% of browser usage share across all operating systems. Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 [netmarketshare.com]

The IE9 Beta replaces 32 and 64 bit IE 7/8.

That is something new for IE and for Windows as a mass-market OS.

In Net Applications' OS platform stats only Windows, OSX and iOS have a greater than 1% global market share. That is a very impressive performance for Apple's mobile devices - and Win 7's performance doesn't look too shabby. But, for all the attention given to mobile, it remains a very small part of a picture that doesn't seem to be changing very much. Top Operating System Share Trend [netmarketshare.com]

IE9 does "improve" Vista, nice little bonus (1)

vriemeister (711710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090698)

I refuse to pay Microsoft for an upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, an upgrade I believe should be viewed as a massive UI bug fix. But I was pleasantly surprised that installing the IE9 Beta also installed or updated various other software components so that Vista is at least mildly less annoying. For instance: right clicking the taskbar no longer results in a 10 second hdd thrashing pause before my dual-core 2gb ram machine figures out how to pull up a menu. So that's nice. I still surf the web with Chrome though :)

for those too lazy (2, Informative)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090734)

For those too lazy to search you can check out the w3c browser statistics here [w3schools.com] and you'll notice that the stats are:
IE: 31.1%
Firefox: 45.1%
Chrome: 17.3%
Safari: 3.7%
Opera: 2.2%

Those are the estimates for September and I'm assuming that's from all of the doctype fetching. Though, I predict that Firefox will lose numbers to Chrome soon because FF isn't what it used to be, rather Chrome is what FF used to be to IE back in the day IMO.

Hey, it's a FREE Program (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090754)

Interesting how so much is being read into a program that is free from most vendors. This is not exactly adding to the bottom line in any direct fashion for any of these companies.

Don't run on Linux (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090778)

IE9 don't run on Linux, neither does IE8. Just tried to install it for fun, and see if how IE looks now. Didn't used IE since IE6 with Windows 2000, or something.

Why is Europe more hostile to IE? (1)

jurgemaister (1497135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090910)

I'm kind of curious what makes the European market adopt non-IE browsers faster than the North American market.

IE6 has more share than IE7 (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090924)

This seems weird, but makes sense in a way. While IE7 initially took a huge market share away from IE6, this is a self-selecting sample of people who both care enough about security (but not enough to ditch IE completely, evidently) and are flexible enough (no intranet lock-in) to upgrade to new versions of IE. These people were more likely to upgrade to IE8. The remaining users of IE6 weren't going to switch then, and aren't going to switch now.

That's why IE8's growth comes out of IE7, not IE6. It will be that way for IE9 as well.

This is frustrating news for web designers, but with the market share down to 15%, it soon will be justifiable to stop maintaining IE6 compatibility on websites.

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