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Windows News
Mozilla exec hits at Microsoft over abandoning XP as Firefox 4 launches
Posted on Mar 22 2011 07:35 AM by xper in Internet

A Mozilla executive said he was surprised that rival Microsoft has abandoned support for the 10-year-old Windows XP operating system in its new Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) browser. IE9, which Microsoft launched a week ago, runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7, its 2007 and 2010 operating systems, but not on 2001's XP. Microsoft has said the decision to not support Windows XP came out of its move to accelerate some browser chores, including composing the page, by tapping the graphics processor, or GPU.

"We knew we didn't want to optimise for the lowest common denominator, you need a modern operating system," said Ryan Gavin, senior director of IE, in an interview last week . "[Supporting XP would have been] optimising for the lowest common denominator. It's ten years old. That's not what developers need to move the web forward."

Microsoft and Mozilla have argued about the path to hardware acceleration each has taken, with the former claiming IE9 is the only browser that "fully hardware accelerates the entire web platform," a claim some at Mozilla have disputed.

Johnathan Nightingale, the director of Firefox, refused to be drawn into the debate over which browser sported the best hardware acceleration on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Instead, he pointed out that Microsoft dropped XP.

"For me, the most interesting thing is not the quibbling about what browser [boasts] full hardware acceleration," Nightingale said in an interview last Thursday. "What surprises me the most is that acceleration is not available for Windows XP."

Both IE9 and Firefox 4 support hardware acceleration on Vista and Windows 7 by calling on those operating systems' Direct2D and Direct3D APIs for content rendering and compositing. Windows XP, however, does not support Direct2D, leaving Mozilla to partially accelerate Firefox 4 using Direct3D on the aged OS.

Full story: ComputerWorld









Your Comment?

3 Comments

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CoffeeFiend
Mar 22 2011 11:14 PM
The kind of people who won't upgrade from XP (mostly on older PCs) will mainly be put off by the current resource usage of Firefox and will likely use the much faster Chrome instead.

Besides, it's a 10 year old OS, time to let go of the past. It had a good life. MS isn't going to support it forever. They just decided to use the latest and greatest APIs for IE9 which is better for those who use OS'es that aren't 10+ years old.
Windows XP is not 10 years old ... it's 9 years and 5 months old!
Major league dropped clanger Microsoft.
Mozilla, Opera and Chrome are the ones who are laughing.
Just because something is getting old doesnt mean its duff same as something new doesnt mean its better.
The only votes that count are from wallets not the firms