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Google to axe IE 8 support, cuts off Windows XP lifeline

Waves goodbye to old Microsoft browser on 15 November

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Google confirmed late last week that it would soon be killing off support for Microsoft's now aged browser, Internet Explorer 8, which also means it no longer gives a stuff about Windows XP hold-outs.

The company said in a blog post on Friday that it would discontinue support for IE 8 on 15 November, claiming the move was prompted by the forthcoming arrival of IE 10 on 26 October.

However, IE 8, which launched in March 2009, was also the final MS browser to support Redmond's 11-year-old workhorse operating system that refuses to die: Windows XP.

All of which means Google has finally signalled that it no longer cares about XP customers who want to continue to use Google products such as its cloudy apps service.

Google explained the reasoning behind its decision by pointing out that it was standard procedure for the Chocolate Factory to part company with the third-oldest version of a browser.

Version 9, which is currently the most recent major release of Internet Explorer – but will in October become its second-oldest release – will continue to be supported after the arrival of IE 10.

And just one month later, IE 8 support will be tossed out by Google.

Of course, it was Microsoft and not Google that ultimately abandoned Windows XP users by not providing support for them in either IE 9 or the soon-to-be-released IE 10.

In other words, XP stick-in-the-muds need to finally get with the programme and stop behaving like we're still living in a pre-Facebook-Twitter-iPad 2001. There's arguably a big problem with that, however, given how many people (still swaggering around a 39 per cent global usage figure at the last count) continue to run that OS on their computers. ®

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