Update for IE8 in Windows 7 RC Fixes Tab Hanging Issues
Article by George Norman
On 06 May 2009
Yesterday we reported that the Internet Explorer team made a few changes to the IE8 version running on the Windows 7 Release Candidate operating system in order to provide the user with enhanced browser reliability and in order to gather proper telemetry about how IE8 works in Win7 RC. The changes referred to hanging or hard hanging tabs in IE8.

“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,” explained the IE team.


Internet Explorer 8’s tab hang reporting functionality was calibrated according to data provided by internal Microsoft users. Now that people from all over the world have downloaded Windows 7 RC and have browsed the web via IE8, real world telemetry came in and indicated that further calibration is in order. It seems that IE8 users are faced with the “A webpage is not responding on the following website: <Web site name>” a bit more often than they should.

“As we began to look at data coming in from real-world Win7 RC users, we noticed that some users are being prompted to recover from hung tabs more frequently than some would like. Today we are publishing an update that turns off the additional tab hang reporting in Win7. The upside here is that we now have a wealth of data about the real issues that users encounter every day, and we are going to continue to work hard to address responsiveness issues up until and after Win7 RTM,” explains the IE team.

Additional details regarding this issue are available here.

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