…was including Internet Explorer 8 with it.
Hear me out.
Windows 7 has gotten a lot of praise for its improvements over Vista, both under-the-hood changes to the core OS as well as more visible changes such as a revamped taskbar and the introduction of features like Jump Lists and Libraries. It’s not a major upgrade of Vista and certainly not perfect, but most of my complaints are minor. For example, why is there still so much fluff (desktop gadgets, Wordpad, Sticky Notes, etc.)? Why all the boring and/or confusing “Microsoft-isms” (Home Groups, User Account Control, Windows Live Essentials, Windows Easy Transfer, BitLocker, Aero Peek, Aero Shake)? And why is Steve Ballmer still around?
But again, with the possible exception of the Ballmer question, those are minor annoyances. Where I think Microsoft really missed a huge opportunity was in not killing off Internet Explorer. I mean, let’s face it, IE is a disaster. Sure IE8 is better than previous versions, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. It’s slower, consumes a huge amount of memory when using multiple tabs, and miserably fails the industry-standard Acid3 test.
Microsoft needs to completely ditch IE and replace it with a brand new browser built to support web standards, not worry about backwards compatibility. Maybe even build it with Webkit like Chrome and Safari. It would go a long way in restoring the image of Microsoft and would show that they can effectively compete with Google and Apple. They’ve made strides with Bing, now they need to follow it up with a modern, standards-compliant web browser.
To me, Windows 7 would’ve been the perfect showcase for such a browser. Instead, Microsoft seems to be content with the status quo, and that’s a big disappointment.