Lismore (Australia): Tech giant Microsoft recently announced that it will shut down its long-standing web browser, Internet Explorer, and replace it with a new product, Microsoft Edge. Support for Internet Explorer will only last until June 15, 2022, so the rest of the users will only find an alternative for over a year. Of course, most Internet users already have one.
The final decline of Internet Explorer was seen as a natural conclusion for those who keep tabs on web trends, but for those who aren’t up to date, this news can come as a nasty surprise. Hmm.
However, in most cases the news is a whisper, not a footnote at the end of an iconic story spanning more than 25 years.
As a current expert in the computer industry, I will analyze some of the possible reasons for this decision and what you can take away from it.
Find the answer
Most people are used to the idea of Google something, but they don’t do anything at Microsoft. How did Google become synonymous with web search? Hasn’t Microsoft become synonymous with its long and pioneering history?
The answer is market share. Google processes 92.24% of over 3.5 billion web searches per day. Bing, Microsoft’s own search engine, only accounts for 2.29%.
It’s clear why users prefer Chrome, Google’s own web browser, to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which uses Bing as its default search engine. Users who prefer Google search (almost all users) can make Google the default search engine for Internet Explorer. However, it would be easier to install Chrome and use Google from there.
Success creates complacency. Self-satisfaction causes failure
Microsoft hasn’t always been a bit of a gamer. In its early days, the web was a market pioneer. Before app stores, 5G, and even personal computers became mainstream, there were mainframe mainframe computers developed in the 1970s with a hard-to-use Unix operating system.
These systems had minimal functionality with little regard for graphics or usability. Netscape, the original Unix web browser, was just as simple.
This is where Microsoft stepped in and focused on personalizing personal computers. When Internet Explorer launched in 1995, Microsoft was firmly at the forefront of the digital world.
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But as Benjamin E. Maze, an American Baptist minister and leader of the civil rights movement, warned, the tragedy of life is not in failure, but rather in complacency.
Microsoft, which built a reputation, stopped pushing the development of Internet Explorer and began to move elsewhere, continually improving Windows instead of web browsers. Since then, Internet Explorer has consistently lagged behind in introducing innovations such as tabbed browsing and search bars. It has become even more meaningless and obsolete.
One of my biggest complaints about spending a lot of my life as a web developer is the incompatibility of some web browsers. Spending hours tweaking a web page can be exhausting and overwhelming, but it doesn’t work well in some browsers.
This concern has also extended to internal Microsoft developers. In a 2019 blog post, “The Dangers of Using Internet Explorer as Your Default Browser,” Microsoft’s Chris Jackson warns:
(…) Modern developers have generally not tested Internet Explorer. They test with the latest browsers.
The message was clear: Web developers cannot take advantage of Internet Explorer, so sites that work well in other browsers may not work here, and the problem is only exacerbated.
Microsoft lost interest in keeping Internet Explorer on track, so it turned its attention to its new browser, Microsoft Edge. However, the horse can already be bolted. The market is flooded with Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and many open source browsers.
There is another important statistic that shows the decline of Internet Explorer. By 2020, more than two-thirds of all website visits came from mobile devices.
Currently, we need a browser that can sync across multiple platforms. In the world of Apple and Android devices, the term Windows Phone sounds prehistoric. Support for the Windows Phone operating system ended in 2017, just seven years after Microsoft first launched the line.
As a result, Internet Explorer, which has been around since the dawn of the Internet age (or at least since the Internet really became mainstream), is lagging behind in many ways.
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Despite the success of Surface tablets, Microsoft has failed to maintain its position in the smartphone market. Or vice versa. The awkwardness of Internet Explorer is the reason you don’t use Windows Phone.
But the bottom line is that Internet Explorer just doesn’t have the versatility for savvy web users. And from next year, even inexperienced users will not trust it.
Vin Buoy, Senior Lecturer at Southern Cross University (The Conversation)
Source Link Compatibility Issue: Why Microsoft Finally Ditched Internet Explorer