Microsoft Claims People Don't Use Tabs in Mobile Browsing
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Microsoft Claims People Don’t Use Tabs in Mobile Browsing



In justifying some of the changes made to its Mobile Internet Explorer browser–version 9–coming on Windows Phone 7 Mango, Microsoft did its research and finds that people don’t use tabs when browsing on a mobile device.

With the Windows Phone 7 Mango software update, Microsoft moved the address bar on Internet Explorer 9 Mobile, hid the tabs option in the menus setting rather than make it readily accessible next to the address bar, and also ported the same IE 9 desktop engine to the mobile browser.

With IE9 Mobile, Microsoft claims that you’ll have faster rendering, improved graphics thanks to hardware acceleration, and better HTML 5 support.

For instance, now you can watch YouTube videos in the browser now rather than go through the app, according to Microsoft.

While the IE9 engine may be the most significant change, the most visible change is that the option to open new pages, or tabs, in IE9 Mobile is now hidden under the menu option rather than be a one-click visible option as it was pre-Mango.

According to Microsoft, the move allows Windows Phone 7 to focus on content, not the chrome around the browser, and highlights the website. You can read more about the design decisions on the Windows Phone blog.



  1. Ivan Calderon

    09/23/2011 at 11:47 am

    Wrong, tabs are a must on phone/tablet browsers (at least for me). Lets see how many people will buy this rotten mango.

  2. Alain Chappaz

    09/23/2011 at 1:12 pm

    That’s just plain dumb. I use Dophin HD on Android, primarily *because* it supports multiple tabs. Browsing one web site at a time is like boxing with one arm strapped to your leg, for the luvva mike.

  3. Webguy

    09/23/2011 at 2:46 pm

    I never use tabs and in fact almost never use the browser on my WP7 phone.
    I won’t miss the tabs. 

  4. Cuhulin

    09/23/2011 at 4:43 pm

    I use the tabs more, particularly on my Ipad.  The slower page loads make it more necessary to have one page loading while I read another.

  5. Dennisvjames

    09/23/2011 at 4:57 pm

    It’s personal preference, but a tab with no information about what is under the tab is not very helpful. IE (the last version) had a button that would reveal your windows and you could see a little of what was on the page. I found this much more helpful on a mobile browser (yup tried Dolphin).

  6. Willem Evenhuis

    09/23/2011 at 6:00 pm

    Then they haven’t seen Opera mobile browser.

  7. Eric

    09/23/2011 at 7:24 pm

    This is a horrible headline, Chuong. Whether it is bias, badly worded, or worse, we can’t be certain. Most of the readers are too happy to actually misread your whole article. Seems they had a hard time reading the rest because they were already seeing red after the headline set them off.

    Microsoft actually said…

    “One big surprise was that that the favorites and tabs buttons were used much
    less frequently, even though they were front and center on the screen.”

    That’s considerably different than an unqualified “don’t use”. And what about…

    “We do realize that some people love tabs and favorites (including some people on
    our team!) and would miss the buttons. So we decided to place them at the top of
    the menu for easy access. Here’s how the new menu looks:”

    If your whole idea was to stir people up and get your story tweeted and blogged, then I guess I can’t argue with the effectiveness of your method.

    • Eric

      09/23/2011 at 10:48 pm

      I’m back posting from a new tab on my Mango phone, right next to the thumbnail images of my four other pages/tabs that are open. I know I’m wasting my time with this un-sensational and true news. sigh

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