Internet Explorer 8 bugs - why aren’t the fixed?

Not being much of a user of Windows – my desktop is running Gnome under Linux – I came across a strange Internet Explorer 8 bug last Friday. I was setting up a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum with a colleague and he was reporting that he couldn’t create or edit any posts with a length of more than about 10 lines.

It wasn’t a problem for me running Firefox, so I decided to try all the different browsers to see if it was browser related. I have two virtual box installations of Windows XP, one with Internet Explorer 6 and one with Internet Explorer 7 and Safari installed, and I tried it will all of them. I tried with Google Chrome and with Opera as well. None of them had any problems.

In order to try Internet Explorer 8 I had to boot up my Windows 7 laptop. And sure enough, I discovered that as soon as a scroll box appeared in the posting box (a textarea) that Internet Explorer 8 started to try and scroll it to the top on every keystroke.

It can’t be just me having this problem I thought, and went to the SMF forum to ask for support there. Sure enough – as far back as March 2009 people had reported that if a textarea has a width expressed as a percentage Internet Explorer 8 exhibited these symptoms of scrolling to the top.

What puzzles me is why there is still no fix for this. Microsoft must realise that they are in a competitive market for browsers. How can it be that a problem as basic as this is known about for at least 15 months (and probably longer) and there isn’t an upgrade that solves it?

With my use of Linux, I am used to problems like this being fixed within days.