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How Internet Explorer Lost its Way
Pour a little out for IE.
Microsoft has officially retired Internet Explorer. The browser that introduced much of the world to the internet has lost major ground to other browsers in recent decades.
In 2003, a staggering 95% of web users worldwide chose Internet Explorer. Chrome and Safari are no where near that today (about 2/3 of people use Chrome).
How did Internet Explorer lose its way?
Plenty of tech analysts have documented the ways IE failed to keep up with a fast-evolving internet.
While the rest of the web aligned around a common set of design and coding guidelines, Internet Explorer refused to comply. That made for a poor user experience that got worse as IE lost market share and developers started skipping the extra work it took to tackle the quirks of Microsoft’s browser.
Add to that a lack of updates, security flaws, missing features developed by competitors and a failure to plan for mobile. And finally, a court battle that accused Microsoft of trying to force Windows users to also use Internet Explorer.
Exploring with No Excitement
Google saw an opportunity and pounced. Chrome was positioned as a modern browser built for web 2.0. Google aggressively promoted Chrome as a gateway to its integrated services like Gmail and YouTube. It published a comic book outlining a vision for a new browser.
Google was getting people excited about web browsers. Even with competitors making an active play for its audience’s attention and downloads, Microsoft assumed being “default” was good enough.
For its part, Microsoft has done a good job phasing out Internet Explorer. The tech giant has a blog post paying homage to the legacy of Internet Explorer and giving users a detailed guide for transitioning to its newer Microsoft Edge browser.