In 2015, Microsoft introduced Edge, a native browser that served as a modernized successor to Internet Explorer and a capable competitor to Google Chrome. Just three years later, Microsoft has set a white flag and recreated Edge for Chromium, the open-source rendering engine used by Chrome. As for the Internet Explorer? Two years on, with no more feature updates available, it's becoming more popular than Edge.
Much has been written about why Edge makes the leap, including Microsoft Windows boss Joe Belfiore. "Ultimately, we want to improve the web experience for many different audiences," Belfiore wrote in a blog post announcing the change, arguing that all users, web developers, and IT departments benefit from working with Chromium would. The shorter version can simply be that even in three years, even when bundled with Windows 1
The continued popularity of Internet Explorer has long been a practical point.
Chrome dominates the desktop browser space, gaining more than 60 percent market share over the past year or more. But in November of this year – like a week ago – the second place went to Internet Explorer with a hair share of over 11 percent. But that's just desktop say. Because of me! But even if you combine mobile, tablet and desktop traffic, at least one metric slot is in third place, which accounts for about 10 percent of users. Edge? It's 4.5 percent on a good day. They've already calculated everything, but just to emphasize the point: that's less than half the market share of a browser that was frozen in the time since Castle was canceled.
The continued popularity of Internet Explorer has long been a practical punk. But it can also tell you a lot about why Edge did not launch, and Microsoft's latest moves could eventually convince people to let their zombie browser go.
One of us
The first thing you know about Internet Explorer Diehards: They may not be the ones you expect. Yes, they contain the technophobes who have not installed an update since Windows XP. (No judgment, just scared of how much malware lurks in these Dell Inspirons.) But also a surprising number of IT departments of companies that either lack the ability or the inclination to carry on.
"Historically Due to legacy applications or even third-party applications, including some of Microsoft's own applications, they only work well with Internet Explorer, and they do not necessarily work with Firefox or Chrome," said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst Spiceworks, a network for IT professionals. "There have been some reports about Edge that did not work well with services at the beginning, especially Office 365, which you'd expect to have been extensively tested." In the early days, Edge struggled with critical Microsoft programs like Intune and left companies' IT departments worrying about them.
But even if Edge had worked seamlessly with these applications, it was only available on Windows 10. More than 700 million devices run on the latest operating system version from Microsoft, but that's only an advantage for less than half of Windows PCs. In fact, some market share trackers have set Windows 7 ahead of Windows 10, which represents hundreds of millions of machines that Edge could not reach even if they wanted it.
What makes an aspect of Microsoft's announcement Thursday especially undervalued. Switching to Chromium will allow Edge to use not only MacOS, but also Windows 7 and Windows 8. Those who got stuck in Internet Explorer because they got stuck on Windows 7 – which is not always an obstacle. Many companies use software that is compatible only with older operating systems – after all, you have the option to switch to Edge.
If this is the case, they should find a much better experience after the transition. Web developers are now largely building pages for Chrome and are not paying attention to the quirks and needs of the fifth-largest browser. But the Chromium switch means that Edge can attach his car to the star of Chrome. "Users using Microsoft Edge (and possibly other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all Web sites while maintaining the best possible battery life and hardware integration across all types of Windows devices," Belfiore wrote.
All this should help to ensure that the continued dominance of IE is not compromised. But even then maybe not very big. The same users could have already made the leap to Firefox or Chrome, but decided not to. It turns out that sluggishness is more of a draw than the simplest browser extensions.
"In many cases, Internet Explorer was the standard, it was the path of least resistance, and many people are just used to using IE There have been some important changes to the user interface in Edge, which may have made it uninteresting for some users have, "says Tsai. "IT departments do not want to re-educate their users, they do not want a flood of help desk tickets asking them how to do the usual things they used to know."
That means IE could be with us as long as it's an option – which could take a while. Microsoft stopped providing improvements in 2016, but real obsolescence will only occur if security updates and technical support are cut off. Microsoft has promised to support IE throughout the Windows 10 lifecycle, which means IE could be with us and surf the Web for up to 20 years with undead aplomb.
Yes, the fate of Microsoft Edge counts. It is fascinating for many business and technical reasons. But remember, it's not even Microsoft's most important browser. And it probably will not take years.
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