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Posts Tagged: Windows 8

Download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7It’s not often that Microsoft release a major new version of their Internet Explorer browser. In fact, in the past three years, there had only been two major updates to Internet Explorer (8 and 9). Compare that with other browser developers, such as Mozilla. In the same period, Mozilla released no fewer than 13 major updates to their Firefox browser (4 – 16). Also in the same period Google have introduced the world to their increasingly popular Chrome Browser. To date, Google have released 23 major updates to Chrome!

So there’s no question that Microsoft’s development of their flagship browser has been lackluster in recent years to say the least. However, that may soon be set to change with the surprise departure today of Microsoft’s Head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky. In a press release by Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer says:

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company. The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft…. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings”

Hopefully this commitment to “rapid development cycles” will mean that in the near future Internet Explorer will start being updated on a more regular basis. Years between updates really isn’t acceptable in this day and age, especially when competing developers are pushing out major browser updates every few months, if not every few weeks!

Anyway, back to Internet Explorer 10; Microsoft first released an “IE10 Platform Preview” on 12 April 2011. This allowed developers and Windows 7 users alike to get a glimpse of what’s to come in Internet Explorer 10. A second platform preview for IE10 was released shortly after… and then… nothing!

Then, when the developer previews of Windows 8 began to emerge, Internet Explorer 10 made a reappearance. Sadly, again only in “preview” form, but notably this time, Windows 7 users were left out of the loop. Microsoft wouldn’t allow these subsequent “previews” of IE10 to run on anything other than Windows 8. This decision left many developers who didn’t have access to Windows 8 developer previews frustrated as they were unable to check that their web apps/sites worked correctly with IE10.

The “final” version of Internet Explorer 10 (10.0.9200.16384) then came bundled with Windows 8 when Microsoft’s new operating system was released to manufacturers (RTM) on 26th October 2012. However, several weeks later and since the launch of Windows 8, IE10 still continues to elude Windows 7 users.

…until today! …well, kind of!

Today, Microsoft have made Internet Explorer 10 available to Windows 7 users!! Hang on, hold your horses! …it’s another “preview” only! A “Release Preview” to give it its proper title (Version: 10.0.9200.16438), which users can download and install alongside their existing IE9 installation.

You can download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 here:

Internet Explorer 10 build 10.0.9200.16438 This “Release Preview” requires that you have at least Service Pack 1 (SP1) of Windows 7 installed. Alternatively, you can also install this Release Preview if running Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1) or Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 too!!

There’s still no word on when a “final” release of IE10 will become available to Windows 7 users (via the usual Windows Update channel). But given that this is not just a “preview” but a “release preview” suggests a final release isn’t too far behind! The only clue we have from Microsoft is that “final availability to follow as we collect developer and customer feedback”

Should you wait for a “final” release of IE10 to become available for Windows 7, or should you download this latest “preview” now?

If you’re an avid Internet Explorer user, and have never tried one of the other browser offerings available today, the chances are you’re somewhat stuck in the past with your browsing experience in Internet Explorer 9. In which case, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with just how much better your web apps and favorite websites look and function in IE10 over IE9. So even though this is a “Release Preview” we suggest you install it!

Our browser based room scheduling software, MIDAS, is supported in all major browsers, and in Internet Explorer 8+ (although if you’re an IE user, we recommend IE10!)

Windows 8As midnight strikes around the world, countries will see Windows 8 finally released to the public in what is one of Microsoft’s most anticipated releases for many years, and arguably one of their biggest gambles too!

Why is it such a gamble for Microsoft? Well, Windows 8 sees a radical departure from the traditional Windows “desktop” environment. It’s geared very much towards touch-enabled devices, such as tablets. Whilst you can still access a “desktop” there is no traditional “Start” button in the bottom left corner, which will take many people some getting used to!

We predict uptake of Windows 8 will be relatively slow with home users. Whilst it can run on the same hardware requirements that Windows 7 can run on, as it’s geared towards touch-enabled devices – great if you own a tablet, or touch-enabled laptop, but it’ll be a couple of years or so before touch-enabled monitors for desktop computers become common place, and the benefits of Windows for regular home users can be fully realized.

Also, many businesses don’t see the benefit of upgrading their infrastructure to Windows 8 – many are still in the process of considering upgrading from XP to Windows 7! Microsoft themselves are not even encouraging businesses to fully adopt and embrace Windows 8!

In a new post on the official Windows Business blog, Microsoft recommends that organizations that are currently in the middle of transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7, should continue those efforts. They add, “Taking advantage of the high compatibility between Windows 8 and Windows 7, we recommend customers identify employees and user groups that can benefit most from Windows 8’s capabilities and deploy Windows 8 for those people, alongside Windows 7.

For businesses that are still stuck on Windows XP, or are in the early stages of their Windows XP-to-7 transition, Microsoft says, “For some, moving their full company to Windows 8 will be the best choice, and for others it may be migrating first to Windows 7. Still, for many, it will be deploying Windows 8 side-by-side with Windows7 for key scenarios, such as Windows 8 tablets for mobile users.

If a large business is now using Windows 7 full time, Microsoft says they should begin evaluating Windows 8 installations “… for a side-by-side adoption with Windows 7 for key business scenarios.

So whilst Windows 8 may fail to make much impact at first, whether in the business sector, or traditional home computer market, perhaps what’s most exciting about Windows 8 – for us at least – is the inclusion of the new Internet Explorer 10. IE10 builds upon the success of IE9, and offers many significant improvements over its predecessor, both in terms of speed and performance, as well as greater support for new and emerging web standards and technologies (IE9 has been lagging behind somewhat from the current browser offerings from Mozilla, Google, Opera Software, and Apple)

On Windows 8, IE10 comes in two “flavors” – a desktop version, and as a “Windows Store” (formerly known as “Metro” or “Modern UI-style”) app:

Is Internet Explorer 10 available for earlier versions of Windows?
Internet Explorer 10 At present, sadly not! Microsoft have previously commented that IE10 will become available for Windows 7 users at some point, and have hinted at a “preview” version being available sometime next month.

If you’re using an earlier version of Windows (i.e. Vista or XP), you won’t be unable to run Internet Explorer 10 at all (in fact, if you’re still using Windows XP, you can’t even run IE9! – the highest version of Internet Explorer available to you is version 8)

We don’t know why Microsoft made this decision, or why they’re dragging their heels on making IE10 available for Windows 7 – well, it’s probably to encourage more people to update their operating system! But to us it seems crazy, not least of all from a security perspective! New web-based threats are discovered all the time, which regularly maintained and updated web browser can help combat, but by Microsoft preventing users from being able to use the latest version of their flagship Internet Explorer web browser, they’re certainly not helping in the fight against such threats!

So, in you’re on Windows 7 and are not planning to upgrade to Windows 8 just yet, you’ll have to wait a little longer to be able to get your hands on IE10…. and if you’re not even using Windows 7, forget it, you’ll never be able to run IE10! (You can still run other modern browsers i.e. Firefox, Chrome, etc on older operating systems like Windows XP)

That said, we really do like IE10 – it’s by far the best browser offering Microsoft have released to date, and our browser-based scheduling app, MIDAS, runs really well in it!

If you’re looking for a room scheduling software solution that’s compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Macs, Linux, Chromium, Ubuntu… in fact any system with a modern, compatible web browser – MIDAS is for you! So…

To mark the launch of Windows 8 on Friday 26th October, we’re offering 26% off new purchases of MIDAS until the end of the month! Simply enter Promo Code “Win8” when purchasing through our secure website

Firefox 11 Released!

Firefox 11
In what’s been an almost monthly event now since August last year, Mozilla team have released another major increment to the version number of their Firefox web browser! Firefox 11 is now available for download, and yet again, we’re bringing you this news before Mozilla have even updated their own Release Notes for Firefox 11!

Mozilla have also confirmed this past week that development work has now begun on a version of Firefox specifically for the new “Metro” interface of Windows 8.

One interesting point that Mozilla programmer Brian Bondy notes about this version of Firefox for the Windows 8 Metro interface, is that Microsoft have imposed restrictions meaning that the “Metro” version of Firefox will only work if Firefox has been selected as the default web browser within Windows 8!

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 We’ll be keeping a close eye on Windows 8 as it draws ever closer to a full release later this year. It’s currently in “Beta” – or as Microsoft are now calling it “Consumer Preview”. We have already tested our online room scheduling software, MIDAS, on Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the brand new Internet Explorer 10 (which is not currently available for earlier versions of Windows), and can confirm that the latest version of MIDAS is fully compatible with this new release of Internet Explorer!