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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Ballmer Misses a Big Point in IE9–-XP Compliance

Eureka Bharali
Friday, April 2, 2010
Eureka Bharali
Browser war has gained a serious momentum as Microsft's Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) embrace HTML 5 to adhere to compete with the likes of Google Chrome and Firefox. The HTML strategy may work well, however, Steve Ballmer, the CEO, seems to be missing a bigger point – compliancy with its homegrown popular operating system (OS), Windows XP.

Windows, currently, holds 92 percent of OS market share, out of which Windows XP holds the highest at 66.3 percent, the rest is divided among Vista, windows 7 and others. A look at the statistics show the huge market IE9 will lose out. According to Web metrics company NetApplications' most recent data, if IE9 was released today, it would be able to run on just over a quarter, 27 percent of all Windows machines. Quite a number of consumers, who see the move as a forceful tactic to move XP users to Windows 7 or Vista, are unwilling to accept the move and the blogosphere is filled with retaliations. "Dropping Windows XP support is one of the worst decisions ever taken by the IE team, probably even worse than disbanding the IE team back in the IE6 days," claimed an anonymous commenter. Infact, many are of the opinion to shift to Firefox or Chrome, which already has some support for HTML 5 audio and video codec.

Amidst the row, analysts however, see a positive future. Sheri McLeish, Forrester Research's browser analyst exclaimed, "This is the stick to get off XP. What are they going to do, go to Linux or run XP forever?" Considering the current market share changes after windows 7 release, the move may seem to have a less impact in the future. Windows 7 has roped in 10 percent of the market share in just three months, a share of market that XP achieved after 11 months. If the trend continues, IE may have the hopes, yet the hesitation of the organizations to shift from XP could mean a halt to the trend.
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