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Google Slights XP Users

IE 8 is not exactly a legacy browser. It is what I used alongside Firefox until very recently. And if you are on XP, which is a supported OS until 2014, IE is the most modern Microsoft browser allowed.

So why is Google ditching support for the browser in November after IE 10 and Windows 8 ship? That is what Google is doing by refusing to support Google Apps for Business on IE 8 starting in two months. The fact that Google can pre-announce such a move tells me there is no technical reason not to support IE 8. The browser hasn't changed. It does pretty much what every other browser does.

This is all about maneuvering. To me it's a way to get XP users over to Chrome, or at the least off of IE and onto Firefox.

Looks like Google snuck a few peeks at the old Microsoft playbook.

What's your theory and reaction? Share at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/26/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Fri, Sep 28, 2012

It's all about the money. Shame on Google for pushing people in a very tight economy to upgrade their computer systems from XP, especially when they may be relying on the internet to find jobs

Thu, Sep 27, 2012

Google has no interest in backwards compatibility because they have no real base to support. Google can go do whatever it wants, they mean nothing to me.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Itsjesseyo Denton,tx

I think your analysis is very wrong in this regard. To say it's as simple as market share theft is over simplification. The fact is IE9 and IE8 are very different browsers - especially in the JavaScript department, which is where tons of google magic happens. So, when dealing with IE support you don't just roll out IE 9 specific fixes you also roll out an IE 8 code base. Or you use the meta tag that forces IE 9 to render as IE 8, so now you are left forcing all IE users rendering into the older, buggier version - and that's just crap. It's so far behind everyone else, you have to give up innovation - and I can't imagine google tolerating that - especially since IE 10 is coming out and you'll have to add on yet another seperate code base. So, yeah, obviously market share - but also a sign of respect for users so they have prior notice - good for business customers I would say, and the only move you can make if you plan to move forward - you can't keep wasting time and money supporting others people's crappy products.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 College Dad Central NY State

I had little interest in Google software already, there's something about having to live with the expectation that a company is going to sniff through my stuff no matter what there stated privacy policy is. As a business user with 90+ PC's, I am stuck with IE8 for application compatibility for a while more yet. I'm sure that we will find providers of equivalent services and not miss Google after they choose to cut us off in November. It may be a blessing in disguise - I won't have to rip Chrome out as often if my users are not using other Google products, now won't that be nice!

Wed, Sep 26, 2012

Google can 'push' all they want. I have no interest in anything they say, maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't use any of their products/services, and have no desire to do so. They are more than too pushy for me.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Mateus

As a developer, I can think of one simple thing: They contantly adding features, or fixing problems, so by removing the support now they don't have to account for those things anymore, making the development process leaner and also declutering the source from all the variations necessary for "older" platforms. The process also allows reduction of costs, and decreases time to market for anything.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Dan Iowa

Yeah what is this rediculous line about only supporting 2 major versions of IE?! If they aren't going to support 3 or 4 versions of IE, then maybe it's time to move away from Google.Apps. I believe Office XP still works on XP.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Old Trout

I don't blame Google for pushing users to HTML5, which is what they're doing, and after all, Microsoft is the one who abandoned the XP users by not supporting later versions of IE on XP! All other browser manufacturers still support XP users, just not Microsoft.

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