back to article Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Internet Explorer 11 arrived for Windows 7 last week but some key features are missing, particularly in the field of HTML5-enabled film, TV and audio. Microsoft has compiled a list of features you'll find in IE11 on Windows 8.1 but which have been pulled from the version of its latest browser that targets Windows 7. Some …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bullying just like in the Old Days

    "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."

    All it's likely to do is push even more of Microsoft's customers into downloading an alternative browser - and once they've switched it's unlikely that they'll find any compelling reason to switch back to IE again. Wake up, MS, it's 2013 - you don't seem to have realised that you don't have the same clout with browsers as you did in those halcyon days of 2003.

  2. Piro

    Oh Microsoft

    You can take your Windows 8, 8.1, Internet Explorer, and especially an artifically degraded version of Internet Explorer (degraded IE, now there's an oxymoron) and cram it up your arse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Microsoft

      What idiot still uses that dog turd of a browser anyway ?

      1. 404

        Re: Oh Microsoft

        Used as back up or special occasions.

        Special occasion happened yesterday with the Verizon website. Firefox 25 wouldn't display the account area properly, where IE11 did. Don't know why but there it is.

        As a sidenote: did save $50 a month moving to a better plan - Verizon was screwing me pretty hard - funny how their 'Account Analysis Tool' didn't pick that up.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh Microsoft

          Fortunately for Linux users IE and all it's "root one to the kernel" ActiveX technology is not available.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh Microsoft

            Duuuude...I have Tux hanging from my car mirror and shower head.... and even I can spot you trolling.

            Did I down vote you? Hehe, NEVER...troll on (Get Em!) :-).

            P.S. This was posted from a Windows 7 machine...I totally fucked up with apt-get install -f. Goddamn multi-arch dependency bullshit....fuck 64bit everything!

      2. Hooch181

        Re: Oh Microsoft

        Isn't IE that thing you use in Windows to download a real browser?

        1. davidp231

          Re: Oh Microsoft

          I use FTP (from the command prompt) in Windows to download a real browser... much more satisfying.

      3. S 11

        still uses that dog turd

        Unfortunately, the South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

  3. dervheid

    Not bothered

    Don't use IE, except at work.



    Fuck 'em.

  4. FordPrefect

    What do I care on my personal equipment the only use I have for IE is the browser after installing/reinstalling windows to use to get a decent browser and for that's chrome at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why Chrome?

      Why not Firefox?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Why Chrome?

        She/He wants to let Google spy on him obviously

  5. Doug Elliot

    Also deleted my Favourites

    I upgraded to IE11 on my W7 laptop and it wiped out my favourites and tabs.

    Thankfully I only use IE for website testing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Also deleted my Favourites

      Sorry but more fool you for not backing all that stuff up. Have you not been bitten by this 'feature' before with Microsoft.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Also deleted my Favourites

      Microsoft is pleased to announce that for their* convenience and comfort customers will find upon updating to IE 11 that their IE 10 desktop favourites are migrated to IE 11 TIFKAM favourites. To access them customers simply update from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 at a modest price.

      * = Microsoft's.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    The only reason I can think of for this (other than bullying) is that all W7 PCs are assumed to have Flash, whereas Flash isn't allowed in IE in metro-mode on W8 (plugins are only allowed in the desktop version of IE in W8).

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Or it relies on functions/libraries not available in W7, and are not trivial to backport. At least plausible.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "Or it relies on functions/libraries not available in W7, and are not trivial to backport. At least plausible."

        Two of the features listed are high DPI support and phone number recognition. The former has been something that MS have pleaded with developers to support since XP. The latter doesn't sound like it depends on some arcane OS feature. Both, in fact, sound like things that you'd have to make a conscious effort to exclude from the Win7 build, once you'd got them working on Win8.

        I have to say I'm struggling to imagine the actual reason. No technical issue seems at all plausible, and even the tin-foil theories are unconvincing since surely even the Microsofties are aware by now that end-users have a choice of alternative browsers. (MS themselves have had to write the "app" that informs users of this choice.) I'm afraid the only theory I've come up with so far is that the management at Microsoft have drunk so much of their own kool-aid that they've gone collectively bat-shit insane.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Among the absent are super-duper media extensions, probably with a new DRM. So, there may be some technical considerations, however unlikely they are.

          Or the project to backport W8 DRM to W7 kernel is just terribly late, and panic department is running on full steam.

          /popcorn icon/

        2. Tom 13

          Re: their own kool-aid that they've gone collectively bat-shit insane.

          I suspect you need to have done that well before you are considered for an initial management position let alone something near the top of the company.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Is that really the ONLY reason you can think of JDX?

      Is the idea that MS might force obsolescence on an otherwise functional browser-OS combo in order to drive upgrade sales completely unthinkable for you?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        @Tom 38

        You seem to have forgotten how to read, or at least chose not to before responding to what I wrote.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Given that everyone uses chrome these days, except for the few people like me that use firefox, yes it is unthinkable that Microsoft could try that.

    3. Kristian Walsh

      "Flash isn't allowed in IE in metro-mode on W8"

      What gave you this idea? Flash is most definitely allowed in IE11 "metro" mode, both on Windows 8 x86, and 8 RT. I've checked this in-store on a Surface 2. (Incidentally, when did Google dump Flash support on Android? I thought it was only iPads that had a gimped browser)

      The user cannot install third-party plugins on Metro IE, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft hasn't shipped the browser without Flash installed.

      (The inclusion of Flash on RT is something Microsoft should make a bit more of, especially as it lets users play all of those Facebook games like Candy Crush on their tablets, without needing a dedicated app for each).

      As for why certain features are disabled, the simplest reason is probably that they are implemented using code that requires APIs that are only present in Windows8.1.

      IE11 is a pretty good browser, though. So far, I've found that the only stuff that "breaks" is using only the "-webkit" or "-chrome" prefixed styles without the W3C standard attributes being specified too, as they're supposed to be ( and yes, I include a couple of my own HTML uis in that category :( )

      1. JDX Gold badge


        Ah, I didn't realise they had decided to build Flash into the browser in that way - thanks for correcting. In that case we're left with the API possibility.

        1. Naadir Jeewa

          Re: @Kristian

          The API is Windows Driver Model 1.2, which requires some DRM stuff to be caked into the drivers and hardware.

          The Netflix app for Windows 8 will not run on AMD cards that use legacy drivers, for example, thus preventing the use of SuperHD.

      2. stephajn

        Flash on Android

        "(Incidentally, when did Google dump Flash support on Android? I thought it was only iPads that had a gimped browser)"

        My understanding on this matter is that it was Adobe that decided not to continue to update Flash on Android and even decided to pull it from the Play Store. However, for those that really do want it, there is the option of manually downloading and installing APKs from Adobe's Website. (At least, the last time I checked anyway)

        1. Skoorb

          Re: Flash on Android

          And Flash was never very well supported on Android anyway - I think it was only ARMv7 chips that they bothered to compile it for.

        2. king of foo

          Re: Flash on Android

          Skyfire web browser, on Google play.

          For when you absolutely HAVE to use a website with flash on android.

          I tend to install, use website, then uninstall.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google didn't dump it, Adobe dumped it.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          The side-loaded flash support doesn't work under Chrome for Android, although it does (mostly) for Firefox (and i think others like Dolphin, but not 100% sure there as I use FF for the purpose on sites needing it).

          At least it didn't used to, although if anyone knows different or how to get it to under Chrome I'd be more than happy to learn how and be corrected.

          But the root cause was Adobe giving up on it rather than anyone else which triggered the withdrawal, as correctly noted above.

        2. Recaf

          Chrome for Android dropped support

          Google dropped support for all plugins, including Flash, when it released Chrome for Android long before Adobe announced it wouldn't be releasing any new versions of the plugin for Android.

      4. jonathanb Silver badge

        Google didn't dump flash support on Android. Adobe dumped flash support on Android.

    4. Electric Panda

      A close friend of mine who isn't too computer literate recently bought a new PC with Win8 pre-installed. She contacted me and said that she wasn't able to view some content on certain websites, so I had a look at her machine and checked it out. Sure enough, no Flash on TIFKAM-IE so I assumed Flash wasn't installed. On a hunch, I fired up the same website on "normal desktop" IE and it worked flawlessly so obviously Flash was installed and working. Bit of digging shows that it apparently wasn't supposed to work under TIFKAM?

      Flash not running on the TIFKAM version of IE absolutely mystified me until I went away and looked it up as I had genuinely no idea it wouldn't work. All I can see is a spectacularly stupid design decision with zero logic behind it, especially when the marketing blurb told people that Flash etc. was all integrated and worked straight out of the box.

      This is full fat Win8 running on a desktop PC, so none of this RT tablet crippleware of which some speak.

      1. Irongut Silver badge

        RE Electric Panda

        Flash does work in TIFKAM-IE but only for MS whitelisted sites, which does not include a lot of legitimate sites as well as freetard ones. At launch there was a way to add sites to the whitelist but MS soon closed that loophole. Last time I looked (Xmas 2012) it was possible to put TIFKAM-IE into dev mode and then you could use Flash on one "dev" site you add to the registry but they may have closed that loophole now too.

      2. LOL123


        Sorry no, just checked this on my Windows 8 x84 PC and both IEs do flash.

        Perhaps the websites go wrong with the user agent or something, but flash is integrated in the tifkam whatever ie

    5. Dave 126 Silver badge

      @Tom 38

      JDX did acknowledge that 'bullying' was a very plausible reason for MS's actions, and then offered an alternate reason, clearly marked as merely a hypothesis.

  7. Allicorn

    Just when it looked like they had a chance of sitting at the same table as the rest of the browser makers, they decide to turn up without any pants on.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      HTML5-DRM isn't a killer feature until everyone stops supporting Flash/Silverlight and relies on HTML5. I can't see that happening very soon so to most users this isn't a reason to dump IE - only when lack of HTML5-DRM is an issue will they do that.

      1. Goat Jam

        "only when lack of HTML5-DRM is an issue"

        As far as I am concerned a lack of functioning DRM (HTMLv5 or otherwise) will never be an issue for me. Ever.

  8. The obvious

    Never mind that...

    Where's the option to disable those annoying browser tabs gone? It was a killer feature (sure you can get plugins for ff/chrome etc but they don't really work.)

  9. joeW

    Basically, another bloody version

    So there's now essentially two different versions of IE11 to worry about instead of one. And since they're both (in Microsoft's strange world-view) IE11, we can't even use Microsoft's own strange "[if gte IE 10]" trick to detect them.

    Since IE9 I've actually found myself sticking up for Internet Explorer, because it really has turned into a fairly decent modern browser, but fucking hell they're making it difficult for me.

    1. Roo

      Re: Basically, another bloody version

      "Since IE9 I've actually found myself sticking up for Internet Explorer, because it really has turned into a fairly decent modern browser, but fucking hell they're making it difficult for me."

      Brave man ! You know that you are doomed in the long run, right ? :)

      Gimp mask because your cause seems to be an exercise in masochism rather than standing up for fair play, you clearly like pain.

      1. joeW

        Re: Basically, another bloody version

        @Roo, 15:58

        "your cause seems to be an exercise in masochism"

        Yup. More commonly known as "being a web developer".

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Basically, another bloody version

      Though I was mistaken above, IE10 is different in Metro and Desktop mode already so it's already 2 versions (at least).

    3. John P

      Re: Basically, another bloody version

      IE11 on Windows 8.1 is really fast, even on a low specced old Atom Netbook. Never liked IE10 but 9 was pretty good and they have been far more standards compliant since IE9, still too slow for daily use in my opinion though.

      However, there seems to be a major difference between the pure developer side of Microsoft (ASP.Net, Azure, EF, SignalR, etc) who are all doing really good work and being as open as possible, and then there's the gimps who are stuck in Microsoft's past who continue to score own goals for the company and shoot themselves in the face repeatedly.

      XBox One AlwaysOn debacles, no IE11 for Windows 8, IE11 on Windows 7 half-arsed, the list goes on. Someone needs to points these idiots to the Dev departments to see how they should be operating.

      You get people to move to new OSes and platforms by making it worth their while with features, not by making it as painful as possible for them to stay where they are!

  10. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    Same old nonsense

    It's just the same typical nonsense from Microsoft. They're pushing this tiled (TIKFAM) interface on us whether we like it or not. I think someone at Microsoft had been watching too much Star Trek TNG - everything there is touch based.

    One of our customers upgraded from windows 8 to 8.1 and found that IE11 didn't work with her website properly. In previous versions of IE, when a site didn't work, you could click the "compatibility view" button and often that would cause the website to be rendered correctly. In IE11, you have to go to a menu and add the site to the compatibility list, something way beyond what most users are capable of, let alone dream of doing.

    But then MS have always done this. They make the most arcane, complex and buggy software on the planet and nothing about windows 8.1 is going to change my mind about that

    1. channel extended

      Re: Same old nonsense

      My keyboard is touch based!

  11. ecofeco Silver badge

    Well HTML 5 hasn't been ratified yet

    Has it?

    Rhetorical question.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Well HTML 5 hasn't been ratified yet

      It's a "living standard"!

      So no.

  12. Thought About IT

    JavaScript performance

    Well, one thing in its favour is that its score when running Google's Octane JavaScript benchmark is 8,200 compared with 4,500 for IE 10. However, I'll stick with FF for lots of reasons, including its score of 10,300.

  13. Roger Greenwood

    "Windows 8.1 tables"

    More furniture?

  14. Naadir Jeewa

    The DRM is reliant on the latest Windows Driver Model - which is only supported on Windows 8, so it's no surprise encrypted video isn't present on Windows 7.

    As an example, try using the Netflix app on Windows 8 with an old graphics card...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > And gone, too, is the UI Responsiveness tool

    According to MSDN:

    > The UI Responsiveness tool in the F12 tools may be disabled in IE11 on Windows 7 when Windows 7 is not up to date. If the UI Responsiveness tool won't work in your installation of IE11 on Windows 7, please make sure you've installed all available updates from Windows Update.

    So when you have your Windows 7 installation up to date, the tool should be available.

  16. TheOldFellow


    Do real people still use Internet Exploder? I can't think of a single reason to.

    1. Adam Foxton

      Re: IE?

      Well however else are we supposed to download Firefox on a new machine?

      Honestly, some people...

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: IE?

        "Well however else are we supposed to download Firefox on a new machine?"

        apt-get install firefox perhaps?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: IE?

      Choice is important.

      Personally, I only use IE when I have to for customers. As Windows hasn't been my primary OS for over 10 years I'm more comfortable with Opera and Firefox. But i do know people who got used to IE in the early 2000s when it was the best browser for Windows. I won't bash MS for MS sake and, for all their sins, it is worth pointing out that the IE dev team has worked hard to try and make a browser that at least renders as well as the others. It must be galling for those same people to see their work crippled by management.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: IE?

      A lot of people still use it and in the corporate world (at least in the last 2, billion-a-year, companies I worked at) that's ALL they use.

      It's certainly not my preference. Unfortunately, FireFox has become just as big a slug which is pushing me to Chrome, but I don't trust its security.

  17. Old Handle

    Less DRM and people are complaining about this?

  18. Mikel

    What the?

    Are these guys ever going to get anything right?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: What the?

      Will they ever get anything right?

      Who MS or IE? Or both.

      MS sometimes does get things right, but then quickly corrects that mistake.

  19. The Alpha Klutz

    can you manage saved passwords yet

    If I want to delete a password in IE I have to delete them all. Rather than just having a list of sites with saved passwords than can be managed individually.

    Now we know Microsoft spent billions of dollars making development tools to make this kind of stuff easy to do yet they still don't use it in their own products.

  20. Bladeforce

    People are still..

    locked into this evil corporation? Wow that is so 1990's

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: People are still..

      Well, when that's all you use at work...

  21. dloughlin

    How about the real reason..

    I suspect the real reason the features are missing is that they rely on components in Windows 8.1 that don't exist in Windows 7

  22. Sporkinum

    Window name is different

    I have some scripts I created to automate some tasks at work. They didn't work under IE11. After a small bit of troubleshooting, I found out they renamed the main browser window Internet Explorer when it used to be Windows Internet Explorer.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how Firefox and other browsers seem to work fine with XP, 7 and 8. You would think Microsoft would have access to more APIs and information to make their browser work better than rivals.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      And funny how FireFox works just fine in Linux as well.

      But it is becoming a slug in Windows.

  24. Daniel Voyce

    Standards Compliance

    My heart sank when I saw there was a new version of IE out - "What weird and wonderful quirks would it have so my lovely website would look shit in this latest version" I wondered (Not so quietly).

    Thankfully it actually looks pretty good so far! I panicked a bit when I saw this headline but its mostly pretty niche stuff at the moment not included in the Win 7 version.

    I'm all for newer (more) standards compliant browsers, however the fact that XP is still stuck on IE8 and the majority of corporate clients still use that POS will never, ever, ever get MS back into my good books where browsers are concerned.

  25. Alan_Peery

    Touch/Pen on Windows 7

    Microsoft is forgetting all the tablet PC users here. Not that there were ever that many of us...

  26. Ken Knowles

    "Microsoft's desire to promote Windows 8.1 tables as entertainment devices." , I guess these are tablets with legs

  27. Sheep!

    Not a real issue

    It's not really a problem because no one who wants a decent browsing experience uses IE anyway. It's like wondering why your bicycle won't win Le Mans. IE hasn't ever been fit for purpose, on any version of HTML implementation.


    Disappointing Mr. Clarke

    I have read Mr. Clarke's writings in the past. But today, I am truly disappointed.

    First, let me say that I am not really an IE fan. Chrome has been my default browser for years and will likely remain so. But I am a technology lover and will (generally) try any new technology once. And, like many other IT professionals, I was genuinely impressed with the new IE 11 on Windows 7. Then I read this article.

    The first two features Mr. Clarke complained about missing on Windows 7 machines were the ‘Encrypted Media Extensions’ (EME) and ‘Media Source Extensions’ (MSE). It is no secret that both of these are used in delivering copyrighted content (e.g. Netflix) over HTML5. What Mr. Clarke failed to mention was that these are both fairly new technologies and that they are not supported by everyone.

    As of the writing of this post, ‘Media Source Extensions’ (MSE) is not supported in ANY version of Firefox, and Chrome is littered with reported bugs. And it is not like you can’t watch Netflix on IE 11. It just uses a more proven and reliable method of doing so. Disabling these features for Windows 7 users was the right call. It is just one of the reasons why the new IE 11 remains a more stable and secure browser on Windows 7 than Chrome and Firefox.

    The third thing Mr. Clarke complained about was (and I quote) “And gone, too, is the UI Responsiveness tool, which allows you to profile your webpage's frame rate and various types of CPU usage to help you analyse UI performance problems.”

    Not only is this feature included for Windows 7 users, Microsoft really did a good job with it. Pressing <Ctrl>+<Shift>+<U> will bring up the Performance Dashboard which shows Paint times, Frame rates, as well as Memory and CPU usage. Pressing <F12> will also bring up the Developer Tools which includes a nice upgraded and advanced UI Responsiveness page profile.

    Microsoft has this to say about it on their website: “The UI Responsiveness tool in the F12 developer tools may be disabled in IE11 on Windows 7 when Windows 7 is not up to date. If the UI Responsiveness tool won't work in your installation of IE11 on Windows 7, please make sure you've installed all available updates from Windows Update.”

    While everyone (including Gavin Clarke) is entitled to their opinion, reporting bias and un-checked facts is unprofessional; if not harmful. Definitive statements like “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” does little for the reputation as a "global online tech publication". =(

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