Websockets, HTML5 File API, FileReader API, XMLHttpRequest 2, Web Workers, IndexedDB, requestAnimationFrame, JS Typed Arrays, PageVisibility and a whole list of other awesome things that IE10+ supports. I'm drooling thinking of all of these new API's I soon will be able to use in my web applications without needing shims.
I understand that MS using it's dominant position was bad, but it's exactly what Google does too. It's business and you take every advantage you have.
I'm happy to crap on Google when they deserve it but Chrome has had around 34 public releases over the last 5 years.
And then fell asleep for years. If it hadn't been for Mozilla, people would still be using IE6.
The reason, as I see it, that up to IE6 there was innovation was because there was competition with Netscape. Until Mozilla turned up again they didn't have that same need to throw money and resources behind a product. I wish they had, but boards of directors and shareholders may well have argued otherwise. I'm glad Mozilla turned up when it did.
First point is wrong, from IE 11 the default is automatic updates.
The second point is an unusual way to phrase it...
On the overall topic, I find this strange. Google Docs seems to make efforts to target Microsoft Office users by writing importers for what are very complex formats. It then pretty much cuts itself off from most medium and larger Microsoft based companies, very few of which, in my experience, are up to IE 10.
I wonder if this says something about them really targeting the small, but fastest growing companies and anything really big is nice, but not the priority.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0: 2.57%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 10.0: 32.63%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 : 16.34%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 : 37.48%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 : 2.26%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 : 8.49%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 : 0.23%
(Source: NetMarketShare. Note that this is global so skewed a bit by all the pirated copies of Windows XP in China, etc)
IE is a bit of a mess browser-wise because we've nearly always had a ton of users not on the latest version. The reason? IE doesn't automatically update to a later version. Every other browser on Windows and Linux does. The only other exception is Safari on Mac OS X, which has specific versions artificially pegged to the OS like IE is with Windows. That's why we have 38% of IE users on an outdated browser like IE8 and 8.5% on IE6. Like IE8, IE9 is lacking in many important areas that users of Firefox, Google Chrome, etc don't need to worry about. IE9 lacks several CSS3 tags that have been supported for a while by Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. IE9 lacks columns support, animation support, transform, and transition support. IE10 and IE11 properly support it.
In short, Google can keep making Google Apps better by dropping support for dead browsers like IE9. I mean dead as in they're not being developed further. They're stuck with broken or non-existent CSS3 support. And, as pointed out by others, the type of organization that's going to try out Google Apps as a MS Office replacement, isn't the type of organization that's going to be stuck on IE8/9.
They also have a sales force that talks to large potential and current customers, and I'm sure their feedback is taken into account.
Edit: Not as clear as intended, making a company level decision on one IT choice should surely allow you influence on another.
IE8 is the latest version of IE supported on XP, so for people who don't control the OS, they are on the "latest version" already.
- StatsCounter (hits, not unique visitors)
- W3Counter (last 15,000 views from 50,000 websites)
- Net Applications (stats from 40k websites having 160 million unique visitors per month)
- Wikipedia (page requests)
Only NetApplications is using unique visitor stats, the rest are tracking views. The results are in line with what most people would assume; Chrome and Firefox users are more active users. But in terms of number of unique visitors IE is still far ahead.
It's not true. top.mail.ru (large Russian counter, ~250M views per day) publishes both number of visitors and number of views. Visits/visitor ratio are about the same for different browser families. Also, stats from top.mail.ru are very similar to the stats from StatCounter on Russian Federation , while Net Applications hide their per country totals behind pay wall, and their China-weighted totals are completely outlandish.
As far as the wikipedia stats links, jeswin correctly points out why the other measures are inferior (and useless when talking about overall web usage) above. You're free to update the page to reflect this, but I think I've had enough of wikipedia egos and edit wars to last a lifetime.
On every site I've monitored (none of which cater to technical users, one of which is aggressively non-US-centric), NetMarketShare's stats wildly inflate IE's market-share, particularly internationally. That's not to say that they're fictitious but rather that they reflect a certain viewpoint and methodology which is only relevant for a few customers. I've found Akamai's numbers to track very closely with what I measure:
There are some apparent technical botches: they didn't appear to use a CDN at all — when I last traced counter.hitslink.com in the spring everything went to Los Angeles and was correspondingly slower globally but it now appears that they might be using CloudFront — or set Cache-Control headers, so if you're outside North America or on a slow connection you were going to see a higher rate of their JS failing to load and for the tracker ping back not to load by the time the user navigates to a new page:
(In contrast, the Akamai numbers reflect direct HTTP traffic for sites like microsoft.com, iTunes, etc. so they avoid the issues related to JS trackers but do require care to filter robots which spoof a browser UA)
They also listed some major sites like CNN or Mozilla which didn't use that JS bug so they either have an unadvertised bulk log delivery service or are portraying smaller side sites as representative of the massive high-traffic main sites.
The real question is the way they interpret the data, and in particular the weighting scheme. Because “everyone knows” Internet Explorer is common in China, they weight the numbers to represent this but you're simply hoping their usage of the CIA Internet Traffic by Country report is accurate:
The numbers I can measure are very close to Akamai, showing Chrome tied with IE even in China:
NetMarketShare uses visitors, which is preferable if you're looking at percentage of users, which is what we're discussing here.
Again, I'm not saying that NetMarketShare is lying – simply that it's critical that you make decisions based on data which is relevant to your particular site and that you have multiple data sources to compare and make sure that what you're seeing is a real trend and not an artifact of your analysis.
The only people switching older systems to Docs are the people willing to try new stuff, more or less by definition. A Chrome or Firefox install for these folks isn't nearly as invasive as junking Word and Excel is.
The kids that use them tend to install Chrome themselves since it will install into their profile and they don't need permissions to the rest of the system. A couple of the kids use Firefox Portable.
Since a sad number of our staff (and a fair few students) have trouble just logging into a computer, this isn't really an option for the masses.
Only the firewall can account for idiots well enough.
You make some good points about the ability of naive users to do really scary, damaging things; and about the frustrations of working in medium to big businesses.
Unfortunately, you do so in an unhelpful way. Please consider editing your comments. (Feel free to ignore me or tell me to fuck off. I'm just a user with no power).
Get your point though!
You should feel good knowing that the predominant reason why this sea change has occurred is because of developers and the pace of the modern web: devs are refusing to target old versions of browsers, especially IE, anymore. In edge cases where a specific browser+version is required, that's pushed to the affected user(s) as a one-off.
My team, anecdotally, don't even test against IE for internal-only apps anymore. We make sure things work with FF & Chrome current and current-1 and that's it. For external facing apps we cross-test against IE current and current-1, too, but that's the minority of our work.
Regardless, what a piece if shit! Just fired it up to check the version (it's version 9, apparently no Windows Update update) and it's so goddamn slow!
I'm now on 100mbps fiber, Firefox and Chrome are pretty much instant, IE takes 10 seconds to open the MSN page, and another 20 to perform a search from the address bar in Bing and open the first result (a Microsoft.com page!). Unbelievable.
Firstly newer versions of windows do boot quicker. But TBH I don't reboot them. Workstations get left on. Laptops get hibernated so neither is much of a problem. That's a stupid metric. Anyway, read this: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/08/delivering-fas...
My primary laptop is running Windows 7 as installed in 2010. I haven't done a thing to it. It's fine. I've gone through Visual Studio 2010 - 2013 on it as well. It has a full SQL server installation and several virtual machines. Still like lightning.
Not only that I have a Dell workstation sitting in the office that hasn't been touched since installed in 2010 that I use for 4-5 hours a day via RDP over a shitty connection. Absolutely fine.
Windows is only slow if you fuck something up, install a million toolbars or are a mac user or Linux user trying for trendy Microsoft bashing for upvotes.
You, unlike most people who maintain windows machines, probably know what you're doing. You're probably not installing and uninstalling a tom of shoddy consumer software. From your description, you're not - so your use is one anecdote regarding an atypical case and not particularly convincing.
The article is interesting, but I'm referring to my personal experience with windows 98-7. Microsoft also wrote articles about the amazing work they were doing to make each of those faster, etc while in real world results, each version performed almost exactly the same as the previous version. I believe that no matter what they do, the challenge is to prevent a legion of developers of poor windows software from screwing it up.
Actually, I think that is from IE 10, or at least so it is on my machine.
Yep, I'm betting on unintended consequence rather than deep plan here.
It would certainly be pretty unwise to exclude the best-paying customers intentionally.
Slightly taken out of context, but still relevant:
"The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife."
Google hasn't been playing nice with Microsoft for a while (see how many Google apps are in the Windows Phone store, the issue where they locked out IE Mobile from viewing Google Maps, or how they treat Windows Phone trying to interface with YouTube). In a way it's nice to see Microsoft reaping what they've sown so long ago, but in another way it's incredibly frustrating from an end user perspective to be someone who likes Microsoft software (such as Windows Phone) and also enjoy using Google services like Maps and Youtube.
Google should be careful with how much they're pushing against Microsoft, especially with Microsoft's new market position versus Google. Microsoft is hardly the monopoly anymore.
And there's no sign that MS will ship new browsers to old platforms.
Dropping IE 9 support isn't even on the horizon for me.
N.B. The company I work for sells to US k-12 schools.
IE9 was optional (users were presented with a dialog and they could decline installing it), while IE10 was automatic, no questions asked.
Alas, numbers of browser share say that this process is not working as smooth as MS would hope.
Google similarly locks out old versions of Chrome and Firefox as well due to not supporting modern CSS3/HTML5/JS standards.
Remember, Google isn't locking IE out at all. Both IE10 and IE11 will continue to be supported. Google's stated policy is to support the current and prior major release of all supported browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari). Microsoft itself has a similar policy of only supporting the relatively modern versions in their online Office suite. They don't support IE8 but do support IE9. That means Windows XP users can't use IE to access Microsoft's online office suite.
Why would they? On what basis? Also, even Microsoft doesn't want anyone to support old versions of IE. Microsoft wants to sell Windows licenses, remember?
In practice, I'm sure lots of copies are sold for the reason you stated.
I don't think so. It's not like they're banning IE9- users from accessing their services. It's just that the content will probably look weird to them.
If its not current, I'm not sure that it is "competing" in the sense that would normally be relevant in antitrust/competition law.
If you look at the FULL chart they reference, there are considerably more IE8 users than any Apple device for example and there are more IE8 and IE9 users combined than IE10.
IE8 users are likely on Windows XP as that's the last supported browser version on that. Bye bye XP users unless you install Chrome.
IE9 users are likely on Windows Vista as that's the last supported browser version on that. Bye bye Vista users unless you install Chrome.
This appears to be Google just being a dick, seeing an opportunity and forcing Chrome on people.
To be honest, and I really hate saying this, Microsoft are the only damn company left that has a reasonable support lifecycle these days. Literally everyone else makes a whooshing sound.
 http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-monthly-201310... (stats are all bullshit on this anyway TBH).
Footnote: I'm posting this from Firefox on OpenBSD before I get accused of being a shill...
Since XP came out, I've got married, had three children, owned two houses, owned 3 cars, have gone from a simple black and white Nokia phone that makes calls to a pocket cray, I've watches wars waged between many nation, I've got 160x the bandwidth on my internet connection, I have no CRTs any more, I can just sit down anywhere and get a WiFi connection and my entire library fits in my pocket,
That's a fuck of a long time. All these people really need to just stop whinging like babies and realise how long 12 years is.
They do so for Chrome. "Upgrade your browser", "Get a faster browser" and all that bullshit we laughed at MS for doing with MSIE.
But now it's Google doing it. Everywhere. With no anti-trust regulatory reactions in sight.
Why shouldn't they advertise their own products? And why in hell do you think they should advertise Firefox? Are you advertising your competitor on your property?
> They do so for Chrome. "Upgrade your browser", "Get a faster browser" and all that bullshit we laughed at MS for doing with MSIE.
For an IE user, Chrome is certainly an upgrade. Both in security and speed.
> But now it's Google doing it. Everywhere. With no anti-trust regulatory reactions in sight.
Google doesn't have a monopoly in browsers so what are you talking about?
I'm by no stretch an IE user, but MS have made great improvements to their browser. And some users may prefer it simply because it is familiar.
And excuse me for saying so, but as someone who values my privacy I trust Microsoft a lot more than Google. To me, Chrome is the web browser where everything I do is leaked directly to the NSA.
Sorry, but I don't consider that "secure" by any stretch of imagination.
Disregarding that, as a Firefox user though, I still get the same crap ads. Basically they are shown to everyone not using Chrome. And for my needs, I think Chrome is a significant downgrade compared to Firefox. By using the word "upgrade" Google is being disingenuous.
Google doesn't have a monopoly in browsers
But they do have a near monopoly on internet advertising and they are using it to push their own products in a borderline dishonest way. I mean... If Microsoft merely bundling a web-browser with their OS (as opposed to leaving users needing to fiddle with command-line FTP to download one) was bad enough to warrant regulation, I can't see how this significantly worse.
I don't know how you came to this conclusion, but I don't need to trust in Google because I can check the source code myself (link: http://www.chromium.org/)
And yes, they have a near monopoly on advertising, but in this case they are not using their advertising network to boost their Chrome installs. (even if they did it would be legal as long as they don't discriminate against their competition)
My argument is that IE, assuming everything else equal, is safer than Chrome. Yes.
This is because I do trust that local software I run on my PC, without 200 known or unknown "(Google) cloud integrations" will leak less information about me to third parties than a browser with all those integrations, present and enabled by default.
Did you know Chrome by default lets web-apps stay in the background even after you think you have exited your browser? Oh. You didn't? Well that's certainly not creepy, isn't it?
When that browser to top it off is created by a company whose business model is gathering information about you and using that to sell ads, there's really not much to add.
Those are facts. And from those facts, I can deduce that me and my privacy are most likely much safer using the browser not made by the advertising company. Do you honestly find that unreasonable?
I don't know how you came to this conclusion, but I don't need to trust in Google because I can check the source code myself
You are confusing Chromium for Chrome.
Chromium is definitely open-source, but that's probably used by a overwhelming 0.1% minority.
Most users are using Chrome, which is definitely 100% closed source and there is no guarantee that Google doesn't add any secret or additional proprietary bits into it outside what is found in Chromium.
Chrome is about as open as MSIE, and gets none of the open-source defence arguments which could be used to defend Chromium and Firefox.
Of course i can ignore the warning, but its pretty clear and if you're a random user you'll be like "oh crap ive to upgrade or gdocs will break".
so yeah, its close enough.
I haven't gotten any such warnings from Google Docs while using Firefox (latest version) at least.
This policy seems kind of broken since browser versioning went crazy. There is no longer any particular link between a "major" version of a browser and the actual technical changes under the hood that came with it. Chrome has a new "major" version what, monthly? FireFox nearly the same? MS sat on IE6 for 5 years and then iterated nearly a major version every year since, but now seems to be correlating them to new (major or minor) versions of Windows. Tying a support policy to something that is so different between browsers, and mostly a marketing device, seems pretty weird to me.
Sweet move Google/Chrome.
Google is making perfect sense here, the real question is why did MS screw this up so bad and integrate OS and web runtime to such a degree they can't support more of their user base?
I would laugh if some virus writers switched sides and start offering up patches for XP. They may know the core OS better than the developers still working in Redmond by now.
They didn't see it as a screw up, they did it intentionally to push people into upgrading to new windows releases. They did not count on people having no interest in upgrading their computers any more, which is how most people got new windows versions.
It's time to move the web forward. I'd say this is an effort to turn Google Docs users into IE11, Firefox, or Chrome users.
And because this is Google they have the weight to make Microsoft think hard about their policies of abandoning their own customers.
"Android has a much bigger fragmentation problem than Internet Explorer. Supporting only the latest 2 Android releases (4.3 and 4.4) would mean targeting less than 3% of the Android devices."
Must be accurate coming from Google.
IE6 will never support ES5 or CSS3.
A 2.1 Android device can support fragments and action bars via libraries.
Comparing the two is just dishonest. Furthermore Android doesnt run on web standards like HTML or CSS.
If you want to compare things then compare the fact that Microsoft dont allow XP users to upgrade IE to the latest version , whereas Google provides compatibility libraries for old devices to use the latest APIs.
CSS PIE 2.0 comes surprisingly close. Although you do have to add custom rules in the CSS file.
Even if that weren't the case, your comparison would be dishonest.
In fact, nobody was even talking about iOS here.
Your comparison makes about as much sense as the parents comparison between IE and Android since both are absolutely irrelevant and unrelated to the topic.
If corporate users cant use gmail etc its going to force them to things like hotmail which im sure will work fine in any version of IE7+
I think it's a great idea, and it's the only way I see the web moving forward at a reasonable pace.
IE7 is totally unsupported by anyone, including MS. There are no patch updates, no security bugfixes. There's also zero reasons to use it, as enterprises can upgrade to IE8 and configure a GPO to force IE7 compatibility mode for Intranet site or whatever broken resources they need to access through IE7.
The patch for IE7 is called IE7-WindowsXP-KB2879017-x86-ENU.exe
This is a myth.
So, umm, gee thanks Google? Ugh.
Heck, Pandora.com is most functional in Opera. Go figure.
Web developers are of varying quality. If they target their site at one given browser (which of course they shouldn't do, but bad ones very well may), that browser is going to perform better on that site.
So, IE8 has a bunch of extra features it should not have, because they are not part of any standard, and is missing a bunch of features it should have to provide HTML5 support.
What I find a lot more annoying is the fact that for some unknown reason Microsoft used to designed IE in such a way that its so woven into the operating system that you have to update the entire OS just to get the latest copy of a browser. Supposably, IE11 is going to be better about this.
Simple fact is, dropping support for IE9 allows one to build better software.
As to the page you referenced, the one that does not load in FF. Can you provide a link? I would love to take a look.
Also, DirectX isn't a separately updatable component, at least in recent versions of Windows. It gets updated as part of regular Windows updates and service packs. (Some software still uses the DirectX redistributable as part of its installer, but in recent versions of Windows, this only installs an optional part of the DirectX 9 interface library.)
Outdated graphics drivers can't provide features introduced with a newer DirectX version, but they shouldn't prevent you from installing IE10.
The DirectX update will not install, it complains about video driver issues. It tells me to download a specific version of my video card driver. Downloading and installing that version of the driver does no good, the DirectX installer still complains.
As for the DirectX update, I had to specifically search on error codes from the IE10 install to find the MSDN page with the DirectX update in it. (The MSDN page is actually what informed me of what video card driver I needed).
This is the problem with discreet graphics cards in laptops that user manufacturer specific drivers. Bleck. Not like the driver works, I have to change versions based upon which game I am playing, it is just like the bad old days on the desktop.
Also the GPU occasionally decides to just stay on 100%, though I think might be a Firefox bug. (IIRC WebGL content in a tab open somewhere)
The crap I go through to have a gaming laptop.
FF leaks memory, or at least the plugins that make FF great leak memory. (If I kill Reddit Enhancement Suite and AdBlock+ FF tends to stay alive for more than a few hours).
I'm opposed to Chrome, I prefer a browser that isn't designed to track everything I do. (Although Google already tracks everything that I do, so I'm really not winning much of that battle.)
On my Windows 7 machine, IE is my browser that has no plugins installed. It is really fast, light, and insanely stable. FF is my plugin laden browser, as such it tends to go down in flames with some frequency.
I am annoyed with the IE team for taking a dependency upon DirectX, annoyed with DirectX for taking a dependency upon video card drivers, and annoyed with HP for not updating their drivers. (To be fair, there is a very short list of Laptops that the particular DirectX update doesn't work with, mine just so happens to be on that list!)
Then the internet is a much worse experience! I have those plugins installed for a reason; Flash, AdBlock+ and Reddit Enhancement Suite.
They were quite literally my only choice at the time.
Aside from having shipped with bad sticks of RAM, and the current stale video card issues, the machine is rock solid stable and after putting an SSD in there, lightening fast.
Even better, Pandora's station selector is 50 types of borked in IE9 and 10. I gave them a bug report complete with a video capture repro a couple of months ago, nothing has changed. In Firefox the scroll wheel just doesn't do anything at all.
It is hilarious, this has worked for literally YEARS and then they broke it a few months ago.
To continue the oddness, Pandora works with pure HTML5 (e.g. no Flash) in IE but demands Flash when using Firefox. Joy!
Google could very well go "We don't support IE. If it happens to render or work at all on your browser, count yourself lucky." and I wouldn't care a damn.