With browsers Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on the rise today, some would believe that Internet Explorer (or IE as it’s called nowadays) would be on the way out. Not true, according to an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit recently. Microsoft engineers made the case that they can change the public’s perception of Internet Explorer and that they feel this obligation weighing upon themselves:
“Often times the decision to not use Internet Explorer is largely based on experiences from a decade ago, and a much different IE. That being said, and we know that it’s our job to change the public perception, and to win the hearts of users everywhere. Each [person] who opens IE, and downloads another browser, is another person we’ll be working even harder tomorrow to win back.”
While this Microsoft engineer may have meant what he said about bad experiences from a decade ago, there are a number of IE users we meet everyday across the World Wide Web that are using IE now and still find it repulsive as compared to Mozilla’s FireFox and Google’s Chrome web browsers. This goes to show that not everyone has a 10-year-old perception of IE that’s preventing him or her from embracing Microsoft’s web browser. Some individuals still find IE to be terrible at the mobile experience.
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Last but not least, Google’s Chrome browser has become something that works for mobile in general, whether using a laptop PC, desktop PC, or smartphone or tablet. Chrome also syncs with your content on other devices so that you can always get back to that page you were reading from earlier, without fail. Internet Explorer has had its share of bugs and viruses (as have other web browsers), but IE seems as though it’s still stuck in the era when desktop PCs were the face of mobile. This has been one of the complaints we’ve heard from current Windows users as to why they despise Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Many a Windows user has stated that they’d rather hang on to Windows 7 than try to navigate the desktop/mobile mess that’s become Windows 8, and Internet Explorer seems to be part of the problem rather than the solution.
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And yet, at the same time, even if Internet Explorer does change its name from IE 12 to something else (we don’t know what they’d call it), we still don’t see this freeing Microsoft’s web browser from its past. Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and other web browsers have had their share of problems in the past, but they’ve made efforts to overcome their problems and push forward to give readers a better experience. Some aren’t willing to give IE a chance because of its past, but some aren’t willing to try IE simply because what they currently have provided as good of an option as they can get.
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What we’d rather see is IE get to a place where it pays attention to what customers want and improves the experience of IE. Improvement may not help the web browser reach its former glory, but it may help IE regain some respect in the eyes of current (and former) customers.