Why did Microsoft remove landscape support in IE on Windows Phone 7

If you’ve spent any time browsing the web on Windows Phone 7, then you’ve likely noticed that it’s impossible to access the browser bar when in landscape mode. In order to enter a new address or your favorites, you have to switch back to portrait mode. This doesn’t provide for a very seamless browsing experience, especially when compared to competing mobile browsers. Our hope here at eWM was that Microsoft might look to add this feature in the upcoming release that’s reportedly coming in January.

To our surprise, it appears that this feature was in versions of Windows Phone 7 previous to the golden master. As you’ll see from this photo below scooped from the design guidelines for developers, landscape mode was working. The guidelines specifically state that “developers must add code to support landscape views“. Or in this case, remove that code.

Landscape mode Windows Phone 7 browser

We are glass half full types here, so one would assume this should make it into the next release, since it was working in some fashion as early as July of 2010 when this guide was created.


  1. says

    I think the assumption was that in landscape folks would like to have the full screen real estate – I personally like that there is no app bar in landscape mode, it gives me a fullscreen webbrowser which i would assume was the intent. When i want to go to a new URL i switch portrait and enter the URL, then rotate back to landscape for a fullscreen browser.

    • Christopher Meinck says

      Perhaps it requires more coding, but how about allowing the user a way to drag and release the window to reveal the browser bar. Tap the top of the screen? I see your point, so I’m guessing it’s based off other limitations of accessing the bar, while keeping the real estate.

  2. Julian says

    This is device dependent. WHY!
    On my LG developers phone, when I go to landscape and then open the (physical) keyboard the address bar appears on top.

  3. Glenn says


    On my wifes retail production LG, she has access to the url in landscape mode.

    I seem to have made the adjustment with my Focus and it doesn’t bother me as much any more.

Leave a Reply