Anticipation has been high since Microsoft announced the launch of their new operating system, Windows 8. Among the numerous changes, upgrades and new features is the new version of Microsoft’s internet browser, the Internet Explorer (IE). The Internet Explorer 10 is touted to be one of the major changes to the existing operating system. Recently, Microsoft announced that IE 10 would be launched on Windows 7 as well soon after the launch of Windows 8. The official word has it that a preview version of the browser is going to be unveiled in mid-November.
A Longer Wait for Windows 7 Users
Most of the people who use the Windows’ operating systems have upgraded to Windows 8. However, there are some who are waiting for the reviews to come in before they make their decision to change from Windows 7 to 8. Those who have made the transition can use IE 10 without any issues as it come built-in with the new version of the operating system. Windows 7 users have to make do with IE 9 in the meantime as Microsoft is taking its time with launching IE 10 for Windows 7.
The latest word on the matter remains that a preview version of the browser would be released for Windows 7. It has not been stated how long the preview period would be and the time it would take for the final version to be launched for the public. Microsoft has made it clear that they will seriously consider the feedback from users and developers when deciding on the timeframe to launch IE 10 for Windows 7 users.
Why the Delay?
Even though Microsoft has clarified its stance, the delay in releasing the preview version of IE 10 for Windows 7 comes as a surprise. The main reason for this is that the browser was created for Windows 8. Given the fact that the operating system was ready for use as early as August this year, it would be fair to assume IE 10 was also in working condition. So, why is it taking Microsoft so long to unveil the browser?
The plausible explanation for the delay is the difference in platforms between the two versions of Windows. Windows 8 has Direct3D 11.1, while Windows 7 had version 11.0. In case IE 10 needs Direct3D 11.1 to function, it won’t work on Windows 7 unless some tweaks are made. The other solution is changing the compatibility of the browser to make it operable on computers and devices running on Windows 7.
Microsoft had made a similar change when making IE 9 available for Windows Vista users. When IE 9 was launched, it used the Direct2D and other features of Windows 7 to function effectively. The features were missing from the older Windows Vista. Microsoft overcame this problem by designing an update package which added the features required to run IE 9 to Windows Vista. It won’t be surprising is something similar is done to make IE 10 work on Windows 7.
A New Development
Regardless of the time it is taking for Microsoft to make IE 10 available for Windows 7 users, it is a major development. It has been a few months since the maker allowed the new version of Internet Explorer to run on Windows 7. For the past six months or so, the IE 10 previews have been included in the previews of Windows 8. Microsoft has stayed away from offering separate previews or launches for the new version of IE.
There could be some time before Microsoft finally decides to launch IE 10 for Windows 7. Till then, users have to make do with IE 9 or upgrade to Windows 8.