Disappointing Mr. Clarke
I have read Mr. Clarke's writings in the past. But today, I am truly disappointed.
First, let me say that I am not really an IE fan. Chrome has been my default browser for years and will likely remain so. But I am a technology lover and will (generally) try any new technology once. And, like many other IT professionals, I was genuinely impressed with the new IE 11 on Windows 7. Then I read this article.
The first two features Mr. Clarke complained about missing on Windows 7 machines were the ‘Encrypted Media Extensions’ (EME) and ‘Media Source Extensions’ (MSE). It is no secret that both of these are used in delivering copyrighted content (e.g. Netflix) over HTML5. What Mr. Clarke failed to mention was that these are both fairly new technologies and that they are not supported by everyone.
As of the writing of this post, ‘Media Source Extensions’ (MSE) is not supported in ANY version of Firefox, and Chrome is littered with reported bugs. And it is not like you can’t watch Netflix on IE 11. It just uses a more proven and reliable method of doing so. Disabling these features for Windows 7 users was the right call. It is just one of the reasons why the new IE 11 remains a more stable and secure browser on Windows 7 than Chrome and Firefox.
The third thing Mr. Clarke complained about was (and I quote) “And gone, too, is the UI Responsiveness tool, which allows you to profile your webpage's frame rate and various types of CPU usage to help you analyse UI performance problems.”
Not only is this feature included for Windows 7 users, Microsoft really did a good job with it. Pressing <Ctrl>+<Shift>+<U> will bring up the Performance Dashboard which shows Paint times, Frame rates, as well as Memory and CPU usage. Pressing <F12> will also bring up the Developer Tools which includes a nice upgraded and advanced UI Responsiveness page profile.
Microsoft has this to say about it on their website: “The UI Responsiveness tool in the F12 developer tools may be disabled in IE11 on Windows 7 when Windows 7 is not up to date. If the UI Responsiveness tool won't work in your installation of IE11 on Windows 7, please make sure you've installed all available updates from Windows Update.”
While everyone (including Gavin Clarke) is entitled to their opinion, reporting bias and un-checked facts is unprofessional; if not harmful. Definitive statements like “It also underlines Microsoft's desire to push users onto Windows 8.1 machines and leave the era of keyboard and mouse and the Windows 7 generation behind it” does little for the reputation as a "global online tech publication". =(