Microsoft will be formally launching the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, IE9, at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) on Monday--an interesting place to launch, given that the Austin, Texas, geek fest is packed full of the hordes who have long since ditched Internet Explorer for the decidedly hipper pastures of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.
The new browser, which had its first and only release candidate land in users' hands in early February, will fully launch to the public at 9 Pacific time that night. In a blog post, Internet Explorer senior director Ryan Gavin described the browser as offering up "a more beautiful web."
On its release day, Microsoft is having a press briefing where Gavin said there are still "a few surprises left." Later that night, Microsoft will be throwing a party in Austin in celebration of the new browser, with hipster-friendly rock act Yeasayer headlining the event.
Among the new features in IE9 is a refreshed look with the browser taking up less space than previous versions of IE, as well as a way to pin sites to the Windows task bar. Sites can then program their pages to act more like desktop applications with things like notifications, and the Windows 7 Jump List feature, which can hop users to specific parts of a Web page.
The new browser continues to be offered only to users of Windows Vista and Windows 7, leaving users of XP--which is the most popular OS at 45.3 percent of Windows users (according to W3schools)-- with IE8. ...
via Microsoft to launch Internet Explorer 9 at SXSWi | The Social - CNET News.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes ... If Microsoft was just arbitrarily choosing to lock out XP users for no real reason, I’d be the first to object. But this isn’t the case here. Microsoft wants to add hardware acceleration to the browser, and to do that it has chosen to use Direct2D APIs, something that isn’t available on XP. Many of you have expressed that this is a mistake that Microsoft will regret.
But like I said in my original post (and many of you ignored), just because you’re using XP, and can’t use IE9, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make use of a modern browser - Firefox, Chrome and Opera all continue to support XP … for now … that too will eventually change.
XP is waning, and those sticking with it will find themselves increasingly marginalized over the coming months. ...