Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 Drops Some HTML5 Support

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 Drops Some HTML5 Support

This is not the Microsoft (News – Alert) we know!?!

One of the hallmarks of Windows has been its near-infinite shelf life. Almost 20 years on, there are still poor office workers using Windows 95.

But this isn’t the Microsoft of old. It has taken a page from companies such as Apple (News – Alert), which periodically bullies its users into upgrading to newer hardware and software.

Microsoft would like us all to adopt its new Windows 8.1, so it has started to slowly choke Windows 7 as a means to push users along to the latest and greatest version of the operating system. The company released Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, but it has omitted certain features that now only are available on Windows 8.

Cutting out some of the features made sense, such as the touch and screen orientation settings meant for tablets. Windows 8.1 is for tablets, not Windows 7 (except for those of us running old-school tablets from back in the day like the venerable Lenovo (News – Alert) X61). But cutting out other features was just cruel.

Specifically, Microsoft has crippled HTML5 as a gentle nudge for consumers to upgrade. This hurts industry adoption of HTML5 in all its glory, and it certainly makes life hard needlessly for Windows 7 users.

Missing from IE11 on Windows 7 is HTML5 Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), functionality that allows web surfers to play video, TV and music with DRM sans plug-in.

The new release of the browser for Windows 7 also excludes HTML5’s Media Source (News – Alert) Extensions, which allows users to play MPEG-DASH for dynamic active streaming of video over the internet.

The UI Responsiveness tool has gone missing, too. It allowed a user to profile his webpage’s frame rate and various types of CPU usage to discover UI problems.

It all adds up to a big loss for those on Windows 7—and the Web designers who must cater to them.

“It also underlines Microsoft’s desire to push users onto Windows 8.1 machines and leave the era of keyboard and mouse and the Windows 7 generation behind it,” noted the Register.

Where did you learn those bad habits, Microsoft?

Then again, Microsoft used to be known by many as the company you loved to hate. Maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same.

William Hood

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