Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Goals for Windows 7 RC: Reliability and Telemetry
Article by George Norman
On 05 May 2009
For people running Vista, the final version of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) has already been made available for download, with enhanced language support even. But now that Widows 7 RC (Release Candidate) has been released to the general public, the IE8 team has come out to announce how in the case of IE8/Win7 RC one of its areas of interest is reliability and telemetry.

“As in Win7, an important goal in IE8 was increasing reliability. For example, IE8 isolates crashing tabs from each other. If you’re listening to music in one tab, and the site you’re using in another tab crashes, IE8 isolates the crashed tab so the music doesn’t stop playing. We also pay very close attention to the data that users opt-in to sending Microsoft about their experience. We use that telemetry to adjust the product after release,” comments the IE team.

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There are numerous factors that cause tabs to hang (delayed responsiveness) or hard hang (non-responsiveness); amongst these factors we can count plug-ins that try to pull down and process video information from a slow server, the web page might be on an intranet, various authentification mechanisms aren’t playing nice or as fast as the user would like them to, or there is an issue with IE8. No matter what the reason is, getting the proper telemetry is essential.

The IE8 team again: “For the Win7 RC, we added functionality to IE8 that lowers the threshold for identifying delayed responsiveness that might be a hang. Basically, IE’s frame uses a timer, and if the tab doesn’t respond within a given interval of time, the frame gives the user the choice to recover the page, close the page, or wait for the tab to respond. If the tab responds on its own, IE takes down these choices. Whatever the underlying [hang] reason, the challenge here is how sensitive to make this timer. Too long a timer (for example, 10 minutes), and impatient users might not give it a chance to appear. Too short a timer (for example, one millisecond), and this dialog may appear and disappear a lot during regular browsing.”



Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE 8, Windows 7 RC
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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