A Tale of Internet Explorer

It's been quite sometime since I first got to use "Microsoft Internet Explorer" which is widely known as "Internet Explorer" or "IE". I don't know how many of you guys are out there who loves to call it as "Windows Internet Explorer" but I am pretty sure that number is sliding down. I am just simply not used to with that as I didn't use it for long. Actually I forgot to use it and I don't enjoy using it either. To me, it's sluggish and comes with so many unexpected problems along with "Not Responding" message, which makes my life more miserable than using "Netscape". Well, I meant "Netscape Navigator" though. "IE" lovers, don't get offended for whatever I just said, take it as for fact.

Internet Explorer Icon on DesktopInternet Explorer Icon on Desktop.

There was a time when using "IE" was a pleasing experience. Like me there are so many who started their web browsing experience with "Microsoft Internet Explorer". I got my first computer with "Windows 95" Pre-installed back in early 1996. But I couldn't resist myself testing "Windows 3.1", which i eventually did and went back to "Windows 95" as it was more user friendly. I used IE more for viewing images rather than web browsing. At that time nothing was more exciting than looking at your own photo in computer or probably as wallpaper. Anyway, lets get back to the point. Using dial-up internet connection I had to wait for long to browse through some simple HTML based bare bone sites. We experienced PHP, ASP or JSP later on which are more complex & took longer time to load. Those codes added some serious features to make web experience more interesting, interactive & dynamic. I hardly can remember someone saying "Web Browser" instead of "Internet Explorer" because you barely had any choice other than using IE. Netscape Navigator was around there at that time but new user like me always avoided third party software as they had to install it manually & didn't get it Pre-Installed on our PCs. Now you have Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and so on. Interesting enough, IE wasn't there with the initial release of Windows 95, it came as an add-on package with "Windows 95 Plus!".

Since Windows 95, I witnessed Internet Explorer along with all the newer versions of Windows operating system. As IE was always been free with the OS, user felt more comfortable using it rather than trying Netscape which was a big plus for Microsoft. Later on Windows 98 came out with a newer version of IE, as we all know Windows 98 dominated the OS world for a very long time. I still have the ISO file of "Windows 98" Second edition on my backup hard drive as a part of collections of Operating systems that I have used.

Web Browser Market Share by NetmarketshareDesktop Browser Market Share. Source: Netmarketshare. Date: Dec 20,2015.

It is true that Internet Explorer was the ultimate gateway to experience Web technologies for many Windows PC user. But it seems like that number started declining for couple of years at an alarming rate. Internet Explorer is loosing it’s market share nearly every month since 2001 or around that time. At least the statistics from W3Counter shows that clearly. Please note that, there are no concrete or accurate statistics are available that is accepted by all. Different company, organization or site has their own opinion & sometimes they are pretty much cloudy & at the same time they are contradictory. For an example, if you look at the very first diagram by Netmarketshare, it's clear that Internet Explorer still occupies well over 45%, Google Chrome holds over 32% and Firefox has over 12% & of the total Browser market share (as of Dec 2015). Contrary to that, if you take a look at the W3Counter's stats, you would see a totally different picture.

W3counter Web Browser Market ShareW3counter Web Browser Market Share.

According to them, Google Chrome holds over 44%, Safari 19% and Internet Explorer holder over 12% of the total web browser market share.

Whatever the statistics are, one thing is very clear that for last 3/4 years the race for web browser market share is getting very competitive. The entrance of Firefox & Chrome browser diverted the attention of IE users into another direction. Especially I am hopeful that Google Chrome will lead this race by huge margin at some point, it's just matter of time now. I think it's a very positive sign that new browsers are coming out with their own features along with new looks. Definitely Microsoft took it very seriously and they are trying to re-gain their leading role, which could really be hard to achieve.

I am one of the oldest IE user yet I find it hard to say that IE is the best web browser. Rather I find Firefox & Chrome are way better off than IE. They are easy to use, upgrade & reliable, last but not least they don’t crash like IE. Once again we should not forget Microsoft is a huge corporation and they do have money & manpower. It’s just a matter of time for them to turn back and take the lead otherwise IE just going to be history. Well, they already are. Happy Browsing.


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