IE9: users will soon be out of date, warns browser expert
A browser testing expert has criticised Microsoft for not introducing automatic updates into IE9, while an analyst has called the launch "an irrelevance"
Users who upgrade to Microsoft’s new web browser, Internet Explorer 9, could soon find themselves out of date, a web browser testing expert has warned.
Jason Huggins, a former Google employee who created the Selenium browser testing tool for web apps, has called on Microsoft to stop developing in two-year cycles, and move to a programme of constant updates.
Mr Huggins claims that developing IE in “long two-year cycles” risks stranding users on older versions and recreating the problem currently associated with IE6.
Although the ageing browser is notoriously insecure, it is now the basis of so many companies’ IT systems that it is too expensive for them to upgrade.
Mr Huggins suggests that defaulting to automatic upgrades, as Google Chrome does, could help to solve the problem.
IT managers, however, traditionally prefer to have control over users’ systems so any potential software conflicts can be avoided.
The UK government, for instance, recently decided upgrading from IE6 was too expensive despite the potential security risks.
Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum, commented that “for the vast majority of corporate IT managers and their users IE9 is a complete non-event - most large enterprises are still running Windows XP, and will continue to do so for the next two years at least.
Microsoft’s decision to drop support for Windows XP with this release of Internet Explorer has therefore rendered it an irrelevancy.”