Internet Explorer 9 made the somewhat controversial decision to leave Windows XP users behind, and IE10 is getting ready to extend the legacy OS snub to Vista users now as well. Microsoft confirmed the rumor this week during its annual MIX conference where a preview version of IE10 was made available, and the company made no apologizes for not supporting Vista.
Find out why after the jump.A Microsoft executive told reporters at the event that supporting Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Vista would have meant “optimizing for the lowest common denominator”. This is an argument we can somewhat understand on the Windows XP front, but Vista? To the best of our knowledge Vista shares many of the same advanced underpinnings that made Windows 7 possible. It introduced a new display & audio subsystem, not to mention the latest and greatest version of DirectX. Windows 7 introduced some amazing new UI features and fixes to items such as UAC, but behind the scenes let’s face it, they just aren’t that different.
It’s possible that Microsoft is taking a hard look at its user base, and given that most of Windows 7 share gain has been at the expense of Vista, it just isn’t worth supporting the tens of millions of remaining users. This is a valid argument, but given that the OS still carries mainstream support until April 2012, and extended support for much longer, it’s still a pretty controversial decision.
Maybe Microsoft will surprise Vista users and release it as an “Ultimate Extra”. Ouch, too soon? (Yes I’m still bitter).