Why is IE always so late to the party on Microsoft devices?

Cryio

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I don't get this. Microsoft said that it is fully behind Windows Phone. And you'd believe that, seeing all the improvements brought by WP8 and WP8.1. But what about WP7 users?

I get that they needed to change the architecture from WP7 to WP8. I can understand the decision. What I don't understand is why have they been ALWAYS so slow in improving Internet Explorer for their mobile platforms.

They released IE6 for Windows Mobile in 2009, 8 YEARS after the browser's debut.
They released IE7 for Windows Phone in late 2010, in a half-assed state, 1 year after IE8 debuted. Why can't MS keep up the pace with their own products? I expected that WP at launch should've had a properly working IE8 Mobile. Nope. They gave us a sorta IE7-8 crippled browser.
They released IE9 for WP7 in October 2011, which was GREAT. The best browser on any platform. Incredibly fast (I mean the fastest at the time of launch), smooth, great looking and with great/solid HTML5 features. Yeah, it was 6 months after Desktop launch, but it's ok. So far this was the 1st properly handled update for IE on a Windows mobile platform.

After WP7.5 and Tango, WP was set to receive another big update. That update appears to be WP8, which is restructure of the platform, on another architecture. Also, IE10 at 2 months difference from Desktop release. Bloody good job Microsoft on the IE front. Really outstanding work. IE10 is tremendous on WP. This was the 2nd properly handles update for IE on the WP platform. Personally, I think it's still insanely fast even by today's standards. So overall WP7 is left to dust. Microsoft still pledges to support WP7 though, announcing 7.8.

Now, we all know how IE11 is going to release alongside WP8.1 in the 1st week of April for us enthusiasts. IE11 is again, going to be the fastest browser on a mobile platform. Good for us and good job Microsoft. The major problem is (in my opinion), that WP7 is officially supported until September 2014. WP7 is still stuck on IE9, which came out in 2011. That means the so called "supported platform" won't receive another browser update for the last 3 years of its lifecycle. That is straight bullsh*t. Really Microsoft? WP7 is still 20% of your WP marketshare ! I know Microsoft isn't so good with its majority marketshare (see IE9 release for Vista/W7 when XP has a larger marketshare than both), but still. 3 years is an eternity for a mobile platform. With all the supposed increases in performance, Microsoft should've at least provided WP7 users with IE10 some in these 3 years (counting the September 2014 timeframe). I'm sure they could've scaled it down enough and still keep the same/maybe improve performance but with all/some of the new HTML5 goodies. This time I would allow you to do a sorta 7-8 browser. An IE9.5 would still be better than IE9.

BUILD 2014 should be really interesting for Microsoft. They could (and should) announce so many things. All in all, why is X360 running IE9 when we were well into IE10 on desktop? Why didn't they update it by now? Why did the X1 launch with IE10 when IE11 launched on desktop? Why is WP7 still stuck on a 3 years old browser on a still current/modern platform?

Coming back to earth, I expect Microsoft will eventually (pretty soon too) update at least the X1 to IE11 or maybe straight IE12 this November. If X360 still has 3-4 years of mainstream support, who knows, maybe they'll release IE10 for it. Maybe at this BUILD, besides all the obvious announcements related to WP8 development, they pull out a rabbit out of the hat and announce another update for WP7, even if it solely updates the browser. It would be very nice of them.
 

Zulfigar

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Because everything is on different systems, architecture, and realities. Not everything can be done over night, and why is this under the Windows Phone 8 section and not the Windows Phone 7 section? It's praising 8, while demolishing 7 (which honestly, are people who just don't give two *fill-in-the-blank* about what browser they're using, as long as it works)? Sure, everything's a bit outdated, but the issue is that they're working, nothing needs to really be done, besides add a few more features, which us WP8 (to 8.1) users are getting, yay us (and my Lumia 920). Sure, Microsoft could be a bit slow, but who says they aren't working on it (well, besides WP7, I'm guessing that's pretty much a dead end, no matter what, but I could be wrong), only time will tell, and finish off the story well.
 

Squachy

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The WP team and the desktop team were never aligned. That changes when Windows RT and WP merge together. RT and WP handles the same ARM based architecture in tablets and smartphones as opposed to the desktop (and tablet) only x86. While WP is a phone OS slowly scaling up to include tablets, RT was a desktop OS slowly scaling down to target tablets. And RT follows the x86 win8.x timeframe.
 

Laura Knotek

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It's like XP. XP is finally EOL next month. XP got security updates, but it never got any further updates to IE versions later than IE8.
 

RTGent

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I'm still using 7.5 on my third issue of an original WP, the Samsung Focus; but, sorry, I don't share your angst over lack of developments for my trusty, 3+-year-old device. I use the browser every day to access about 4-6 sites and it works quickly and flawlessly, as does the rest of the phone; I have not given a thought to what version I am running and I haven't missed any functionality. I've been getting frequent updates on my Surface RT and I'm encouraged by the increasing improvement of WP8 and Lumias. I do not expect nor want my WP7 hardware or OS to be on any Microsoft developer's to-do list. WP7 was the seminal metro platform; but, that's all it was. For me, it's worked great, but I'm happy with Microsoft's focus on the present and future. Good luck coping with the "GREAT" IE9.
 

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