Updated Microsoft has confirmed that Internet Explorer 9 will not support Windows XP.
This is hardly a surprise, and it was implied by Microsoft's press materials, which said that the browser's platform preview requires Direct2D, an API available only with Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. But just to lay the matter to rest: Yesterday, at Microsoft's Mix conference in Las Vegas, IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch told ZDNet blogger Mary Jo-Foley and other reporters that the shipping IE9 will not play nicely with XP.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
IE9 uses Direct2D to hardware-accelerate HTML5-based scrolling and 3D graphics, handing such processing to the machine's GPU. Direct2D was introduced with Windows 7, and it was later rolled into Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
For Windows XP, the writing has long been on the wall. Microsoft said back in November, at its PDC conference in Los Angeles, that IE9 would make use of Direct2D. ®
Microsoft's official statement has arrived, and yes, it confirms that IE9 will not support XP. "Windows XP users have a fast, safe, reliable and private browser in Internet Explorer 8. As the Web has continued to change in everything from security to the future HTML5 applications developers are starting to build today, browsers should require the modern graphics and security infrastructure that has come along since 2001," the statement reads.
"Internet Explorer 9 requires the modern graphics and security underpinnings that have come since 2001, and is intended to be run on a modern operating system in order to build on the latest hardware and operating system innovations."