This week we’ve learned two very important facts regarding the most infamous web browser of all, Internet Explorer: first that Microsoft intends to auto-update all of their older versions for users to the newest IE version 9, and second that Google Chrome 15 is now the most popular web browser version in the world. Though when you add up all the users using ANY version of Internet Explorer, you find that it still dominates this planet by a long shot, it’s still rather interesting that any one browser has taken the lead over the ultra-dominant browser made so fantastically giant by its pre-installed status on Windows-toting machines worldwide. So what’s your excuse?
This isn’t a new question and certainly isn’t one I’ve not asked my own family when they used to use Windows-based machines, so I’d like to put it back out there today to see how we’re all feeling about the situation. In the time between when AOL was the dominant internet provider in my area up here in mid-Minnesota and now, there was a big period of time when Internet Explorer took over the earth because first, it was installed on your machine when you bought it, and two: because “Netscape” was much harder to remember than the perfectly simple “Internet Explorer.” The brand name is still easily the best one in the web browser market: what do you use to browse the web? The explorer of the internets, of course.
Then there’s Apple’s “Safari” which took a cue from Internet Explorer and comes with your Mac, this leading to SOME people using it, and Google’s Chrome which has shown itself to be amongst the most popular downloads of the last year — Google is beyond an amazing brand, and just like Apple, if you’ve got one piece of the puzzle, you’re inclined to want the rest. Firefox and Opera did an OK job of appealing to the crowds of nerds and gamers out there wanting a custom experience, but in times as recently as this past week, your humble narrator has witnessed hoards of people on places like Reddit and Google+ speaking down on both of these browsers saying they’ve fallen into disrepair. These same people wouldn’t touch Internet Explorer with a 10 foot pole.
Just to be clear: I ask this as both a web developer and a lover of Google Chrome, as it’s been nothing but perfect for use in my everyday life, and developing for Internet Explorer has and continues to be nothing but a pain in the neck whereas all other browsers essentially live by the same basic rules.
So I ask again: why do you and/or anyone you know still use Internet Explorer?