Developers spend time to optimize their products for a three-year-old browser
Even though Internet Explorer 10 is already available for Windows 8 and Windows 7 users, it’s actually the three-year-old Internet Explorer 8 that’s holding the first place in the browser market.And although some users don’t really care about it, Internet Explorer 8 is actually doing more harm than good.
Gizmodo Australia points to a Q&A session on Source, during which the developer behind New York Times’ “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” multimedia feature explained that Internet Explorer 8 sometimes forces companies to waste tons of money and time. Just because of its popularity, that is.
Jacky Myint revealed that a software developer was assigned with the task of making the multimedia content work on Internet Explorer 8, as plenty of people are still using it.
“From the beginning we made the decision to not offer the exact same experience across all browsers/devices. This allowed me to focus on the main experience in the more modern web browsers while my colleagues focused on different experiences on other devices or older browsers,” Myint wrote.
“Josh Williams worked on the iPad/iPhone/touch experience while Jon Huang worked on IE8. We each had to figure out the best experience for the respective browsers/devices we were focusing on and work within their limitations.”
The latest figures released by Net Applications indicate that IE8 is the top browser on the market, as it holds a market share of 23.29 percent, while IE9 comes second with 21.35 percent.
Even though these figures may be a bit surprising given the fact that there are plenty of other alternatives on the market, Internet Explorer 8 is currently available on two of Microsoft’s most popular Windows versions ever, namely Windows XP and Windows 7.
While Windows 7 users are allowed to upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 and even IE10 (in preview form), Windows XP users have no other choice than to stick to the three-year-old version (or to install another browser). Windows XP is currently the second most popular OS in the world, with a market share of 39.08 percent.
Besides the fact that it’s very old and still utterly-popular, Internet Explorer 8 isn’t quite a safe browser. Microsoft has recently confirmed a security flaw that could allow attackers to run malicious code on a vulnerable system.
The company has already released a Fix it tool to help users stay on the safe side, but a security patch won’t be released sooner than January’s Patch Tuesday cycle.