Microsoft has given developers a glimpse of its next Web browser, Internet Explorer 9. When the software eventually ships, it will not run on Windows XP.
The browser, which will not be available for at least a year, will support HTML5, a Web protocol which makes it possible to play videos and other embedded content on Web pages without the need for a specialist plug-in, such as Adobe Flash.
IE9's inability to run on Windows XP will prevent it from becoming widespread until the nearly nine-year-old OS loses significant share to Windows 7. No other major browser maker has announced plans to stop supporting Windows XP, but several have dropped other operating systems or platforms.
Nevertheless, analysts believe that IE9 could help Microsoft to arrest the slide in its browser share, which has seen nearest rival Firefox slowly increasing its footprint in the browser market.