Internet Explorer Upgrades for Windows XP

By Sam N. Austin

The Microsoft Windows XP operating system shipped with Internet Explorer Version 6 included. Microsoft introduced the operating system and the browser in 2001. Internet Explorer 6 included features that improved privacy and security for users, reflecting the growing use of ecommerce. Microsoft produced two upgraded versions of the Internet Explorer browser by 2010, with each version having a different focus.

Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7, which required Windows XP users to install Service Pack 2, was the first full-release upgrade to Internet Explorer available on Windows XP. Published in May 2008, Internet Explorer 7 provided improved support for web standards, with the goal of allowing users to encounter fewer problems browsing the Internet. IE7 also added tabbed browsing, a feature that allows users to have multiple websites open without having multiple instances of the browser itself open. IE7 incorporated technical improvements and fixes for bugs that had been present in Internet Explorer 6, as well as an improved search function.

Internet Explorer 8

While the focus of Internet Explorer 7 was to improve the user’s web browsing experience, Internet Explorer 8 aimed to upgrade security relative to earlier versions. Internet Explorer 8 is compatible with Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, including the 64-bit edition of Windows XP Professional. New security features in the browser included InPrivate Filtering, which allows users to limit the information that websites gather about them, and the SmartScreen Filter, which identifies websites known to pose a security risk to viewers. Internet Explorer 8 also provided a compatibility mode that allows users to better view websites designed to work with earlier versions of Internet Explorer and which therefore did not display correctly in Version 8.

Internet Explorer 9

In March 2010, Microsoft stated on the Internet Explorer Test Drive website that the forthcoming Internet Explorer 9 would not be available for testing on Windows XP. However, Microsoft did not at that time state explicitly that Version 9 would not be available for Windows XP. Instead, Microsoft stated that it was too early to discuss certain aspects of IE9. The new version includes features related to the way the browser displays web pages, such as allowing for flying images and map zooming, which had not been available in previous versions.