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Microsoft predicts swift adoption of IE7

By Aaron Gustafson | October 28th, 2006 | Filed in Browsers, Microsoft, Microsoft TF, Web Standards (general)

Earlier this week, Chris Wilson of the IE team revealed some numbers he feels point to a swifter adoption of IE7 than previously thought.

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As part of his keynote at The Ajax Experience in Boston earlier this week, Chris Wilson, Lead Platform Architect for the IE team (and a WaSP Microsoft Task Force member), revealed that Internet Explorer 7 was downloaded about 3 million times within the first four days of its release. He also offered that, according to Microsoft’s own numbers, 90% of the Windows web share is running [Windows] XP, which goes a long way toward relieving concerns that Microsoft’s plan to only offer IE7 to users of Windows XP and beyond will slow its adoption and never free us from the problematic world of IE6 support:

I think that you’ll actually see, and granted this is a little early since [it's] only been out for five days or something, … the curve on this [and it] will quickly be clear how soon we’ll get to ditch IE6 … I can’t really predict that, but I think you’ll find it’s going to be quicker than what most people expect today.

Chris also mentioned that the adoption thus-far has come without Microsoft pushing the browser update via its Windows Update service and I don’t think anyone is ruling out the possibility that Microsoft may choose to go that route, eventually.

If Chris is right (and I hope he is), this is very good news for standards-based developers. While it is true that IE7 is far from perfect, it is a much needed step on the way to a world without CSS hacks and workarounds and one with more standardized DOM support. Having also had a few off-the-record conversations with folks from the IE team attending the event, I can honestly say I feel confident that we (the standards community) have Microsoft’s ear and that they are very interested in knowing what they can do to make our lives easier now and in what they are casually referring to as “IE.Next.”

If you’re interested in seeing a snippet of video from the speech, captured by Molly, jump on over to her post on the topic.

Your Replies

#1 On October 28th, 2006 11:19 am figgy replied:

“Microsoft predicts swift adoption of IE7″

Of course! Why? Because Microsoft is cheating in the browser wars by pumping their browser into the OS through an automatic system update (said to happen in November).

I really don’t care that IE 7 is “much needed step” because it’s still a flawed product and I wish it would just go away.

#2 On October 28th, 2006 11:27 am sig replied:

Etre has an interesting study on its site that suggests that around 12.7 million websites could be broken as a result of the introduction of IE7.

#3 On October 28th, 2006 11:29 am Emil Stenström replied:

This is good news. From what I’ve heard so far Microsoft is going to use all their marketing power to push out IE7 to its users. Lets hope for the best.

#4 On October 28th, 2006 11:53 am Geoffrey Sneddon replied:

Of course! Why? Because Microsoft is cheating in the browser wars by pumping their browser into the OS through an automatic system update (said to happen in November).

Oh, and Firefox’s automatic update isn’t cheating the browser wars?

#5 On October 28th, 2006 12:34 pm AntonyG replied:

Oh, and Firefox’s automatic update isn’t cheating the browser wars?

The difference is that Firefox’s update will only work for active users of the browsatr. IE’s update will kick in for all relevant operating systems with Windows Update enabled.

#6 On October 28th, 2006 2:03 pm Coward replied:

I’d be happy about IE7 adoption is it supported all of HTML4. It still leaves out one of the elements: the Q element (aka the Q tag). This is the most basic web standard, and MS doesn’t fully support it.

#7 On October 28th, 2006 5:28 pm figgy replied:

“#4 On October 28th, 2006 11:53 am Geoffrey Sneddon replied:

Of course! Why? Because Microsoft is cheating in the browser wars by pumping their browser into the OS through an automatic system update (said to happen in November).

Oh, and Firefox’s automatic update isn’t cheating the browser wars?”

NO, it’s not. You have to make the decision to download Firefox yourself first. When version 2.0 came out I had to download it too.

Why would anyone (unless they didn’t understand web development standards) defend IE?

#8 On October 28th, 2006 7:52 pm Alex replied:

Regardless of whether IE7 is good bad or indifferent, and ignoring Microsoft’s advantage v-a-v it’s dominant global position (both in terms of OSs and software) the release of IE7 is a welcome development. As for automatic updating, given that (publicly at least) MS beleive that IE7 offers users an enhanced browsing experience of course it is to be expected that it will be incuded in up dates.

From a web development perspective this release is interesting and (dare I say it) exciting.


#9 On October 28th, 2006 9:54 pm WaSP Member kblessing replied:

Compare 3 million IE7 downloads within 4 days to 2 million Firefox 2 downloads in 24 hours.

I’d have to assume that most of the IE7 downloads were from developers, designers, journalists, and other browser manufacturers, not actual users. We’ll see the actual user numbers after IE7 is available as via Windows Update. (Keep in mind, it’s an optional update — Microsoft isn’t forcing users to upgrade.)

Meanwhile, those Firefox downloads are probably from users of all types — not just us Web folk. And since the download was actually available ahead of time (if you knew where to look on the FTP servers), many downloads took place before the release date — I wonder if those numbers were included?

Just some Saturday night musings… watching these download tallies is like waiting for Election Day results to come in!

#10 On October 29th, 2006 1:22 am Peter replied:

figgy said: “I really don’t care that IE 7 is ‘much needed step’ because it’s still a flawed product and I wish it would just go away.”

You’d rather let IE 6 be the lowest common denominator of the web?

(General rant (that’s been brewing for a long time) begins.)

I think this “bash-M$-no-matter-what-they-do-and-anyone-who-doesn’t-agree-with-everything-I-say-must-be-a-blindly-obedient-M$-slave-oh-and-by-the-way-did-I-mention-that-IE-sucks” routine is getting kinda old. As in “mouldy”.

The huge and numerous flaws of IE have been detailed time and time again on this site. Even in this post, there’s the caveat: “While it is true that IE7 is far from perfect [...]”

But there are some people who can’t just be happy that the web might finally be able to progress a few small steps. After every post that even mentions IE 7, they pop in to “educate” us about the evils of M$ and the flaws of IE, as if we needed it.

Attention, all M$-haters: We know how rotten M$ can be. And we know what a stinking pile of dung IE can be. And that’s exactly why we’re so happy about IE 7! If you can’t appreciate that, I say you’re just a bunch of posers.

(Rant over.)

#11 On October 29th, 2006 10:30 am Nick Fitzsimons replied:

Thanks, Peter, you saved me the trouble of saying it :-)

I remember when work on IE7 was first announced, the IE Team blog was full of comments by people saying “You have to push it out as an automatic update, otherwise it’ll be ages before we can stop supporting that crapheap IE6!”

I have no doubt that these are the same people who are now crying “Foul!” when they get what they asked for.

The anti-MS ranting that has accompanied every step of the development of IE7 is an embarassment to the whole Web Standards community. It makes us look like a bunch of petulant, ill-informed brats who don’t know what we want except that we don’t want whatever we’re given.

It’s time to grow up and join the adult world, MS bashers. If you have a point to make then make it in a clear and well-reasoned manner (preferably without using dollar symbols in place of upper-case S). If you just want to bitch and whine, go to the playground and join the other adolescent malcontents. You won’t be missed.

#12 On October 29th, 2006 6:17 pm dave replied:

I think the ie7 release is good, i think ie7 breaking all those millions of sites is even better!! Hopefully, it will help a few million additional people realize that the biggest company in the history of the world can’t build nothing but crap *ss products, especially a browser that like another poster mentioned doesnt even meet html 4 standards yet and how long has html been depreciated for now? And those additional people will now go ahead and choose a good browser, i mean you can only be let down so many times before you change..

Someday we will be able to move the web forward, to bad it hinges on m$, hell we could be on web 4.0 by now if we werent sitting around waiting on the retarded kid (aka m$) to catch up all the time.

m$ gets bashed for a reason and being a web developer has really opened my eyes to what those reasons are……..

As developers we should be making a stink since its OUR job to make these sites viewable in which case m$ seems to do everything they can to make our lives miserable.

#13 On October 30th, 2006 3:01 am Asbjørn Ulsberg replied:

The fact that 90% of Windows users has Windows XP doesn’t really help all that much, since Internet Explorer requires Service Pack 2. How many of those 90% has Service Pack 2 installed? My guess is less than 50%. Seeing that Internet Explorer 5.0 is still showing up on web statistic reports, considering the fact that it is soon 8 years old and that the upgrade restriction for earlier Windows versions was a lot more lenient than it is today (with WPGA etc), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Internet Explorer 6.0 for at least 8 more years. Not at all.

#14 On October 30th, 2006 3:02 am Asbjørn Ulsberg replied:

What I meant to write was “since Internet Explorer 7.0 requires Service Pack 2″. :-)

#15 On October 30th, 2006 3:01 pm Julie replied:

My significant other works for an insurance company, and the higher-ups have told everyone there to stick with IE6 because IE7 “breaks their intranet.″ Using Firefox has never been allowed. I did not get too many details about what exactly breaks, but it seems that the warnings about companies keeping employees from upgrading are true in this case.

#16 On October 30th, 2006 5:09 pm KBlog by Kimberly Blessing | Is IE6 the new NN4? replied:

[...] There’s a interesting and fun post and comment thread about IE7 adoption over at WaSP, and it has me wondering… will IE6 linger like Netscape Navigator 4.x did? [...]

#17 On October 31st, 2006 4:31 am Peter replied:

There’s nothing wrong with wishful thinking, but we all know that IE isn’t going to just magically disappear. If Microsoft dropped IE altogether, we’d still be stuck with IE 6 being the dominant browser for many years to come. Complaining that IE 7 is a much smaller step forward than the utopian ideal of everyone switching to Firefox/Opera/Safari gets us nowhere.

And hey, if IE 7 somehow convinces even more people to switch, I’m still happy.

Dave wrote: “how long has html been depreciated for now?”

Zero-point-zero milliseconds and not counting. Html 4.01 is still an official W3C recommendation. It’s a common misconception that every new version of a W3C specification is intended to completely replace the old one.

Dave wrote: “m$ gets bashed for a reason”

They certainly are, for many good reasons. Are you implying that anyone here is blissfully unaware of those reasons?

#18 On October 31st, 2006 10:37 am Trails replied:

I don’t get the “I h8 teh IE7, M$ is teh suxo|2z” routine. IE7 is BETTER than IE6.

One blissful day in the future, IE6 will be relegated to obsoleteness with something like 0.5% market share, and I can stop hacking for it (and the 0.5% of people still using it can go hang). I might still have some hacking to do for IE7, but a lot less than IE6.

The more “cheating in the browser wars by pumping their browser into the OS through an automatic system update” that microsoft does, the better, because every user who upgrades from IE6 to IE7 brings that previously mentioned joyous day of days just a teeny tiny bit closer.

#19 On October 31st, 2006 11:40 am Stewart replied:

I’m just so sick of all the old versions of IE that are still lurking around on the web. A lot of my customers are still using IE 5.01 and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with problems.

#20 On November 1st, 2006 9:45 am Matt replied:

MS have detailed info on the automatic update here:

As well as improvements to the rendering engine, the browser improves security for IE users, which I believe justifies it’s categorisation as a high-priority update. Non-techie users wouldn’t be aware that an update was available otherwise.

For Web developers it’s great news since IE7 brings us closer to one set of standards without the constant cross-browser testing. For the interim, I expect it’ll be a bit of a pain since IE7 RC sometimes needs entirely different layout hacks to IE6 and we’ll have to support them both for a while.

I can’t say I understand MS bashers, Mac snobs or Linux elitists. If you have a favourite piece of software, just use it, and stop wanting everyone else to feel like you too. I’m old enough to make my own decisions.

For IE4/5/6, I think I’ll eventually be doing what I do for NS4- users and serving them the content without a stylesheet. My clients can’t usually afford to design for niche/proprietry systems but careful coding can ensure that the content is still usable.

#21 On November 3rd, 2006 9:07 am TeeJay replied:

Peter and Matt, applause. We can’t ignore Microsoft and hope it goes away, ‘cos it ain’t going anywhere, and we have to work with it. And some people seem to see their favourite operating systems like a favoured religion. Before long they’ll be telling us we’ll go to hell for using microsoft. Pah.

#22 On November 10th, 2006 9:19 am Filter for 29/10 2007 - Felt replied:

[...] The Web Standards Project: Microsoft predicts swift adoption of IE7 Chris Wilson speculates on IE7 adoption. [...]

#23 On December 10th, 2006 12:20 pm rhking replied:

All IE-bashing aside, I think the distasteful part (for me) of the original post was the was MS says “adoption will be swift” as if market decisions will be at work. They’ll “force” millions to download it vis automatic updates, whether they use it or not, and then trumpet those numbers relative to Firefox as “proof” that they are the choice of the people.

As for it being an “optional” download – social engineering will render that point moot. I almost dl’ed it myself when I started accepting the automatic downloads without looking at the details.

#24 On January 30th, 2007 12:02 pm PietyHill Press » Blog Archive » The Vista From Microsoft Is Just Another View of Mac OS X replied:

[...] An amusing tongue-in-cheek video by David Pogue covers the same ground in a more creative fashion. I have to say that I use Windows XP at work and I really don’t mind it that much. It does some things pretty well and I just recently began using my Dock like I use the Taskbar… it works for me. On the other hand, Explorer really bugs me and, if I were to advocate a boycott or some action to pressure Microsoft, it would be to advise everyone to use some other browser like Firefox or, for Mac users, Camino or Safari at home. At work, where they are forced to use Explorer, they can access their .asp stuff on the intranet, which usually looks pretty crappy anyways. But, on their own time they would be using a standards compliant browser to visit commercial and recreational sites on the web, sending the stats for competing, standards-friendly browsers off the charts. That should get their attention. [...]

#25 On February 4th, 2007 5:06 pm kerry sirois replied:

I just recieved my update for IE7, what a surprise, if only I could read Chinese, yes, that’s right, Chinese, and to add insult to injury, my outlook express was knocked out, my McAfee security was knocked out, but luckily for me my system restore took care of this nightmare, but sitting on my toolbar like a bug is the update shield, it will sit there forever as far as I’m concerned, and all further updates perhaps will be blocked, thankfully.
If Microsoft wanted people to switch to Mac, they could not have done a better job!!!!!!!

#26 On February 4th, 2007 5:10 pm kerry sirois replied:

By the way, this is not an optional update, it’s automatic, but, you can render all future auto updates to stop, even updates that will be helpful, what a deal!!!!!!

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