Week 1:Internet Browser Wars: Internet Explorer out?

During class, we hear that the fastest internet browser is Mozilla Firefox. Why, you ask? Because the Fox is on fire!

Why Firefox is the fastest browser

Why Firefox is the fastest browser

No, but really, I used to swear by Mozilla a couple of years ago. Before that, I was using Internet Explorer and needless to say, Mozilla was a saviour. Nowadays, I only use Google Chrome and have not looked back since. I think this is common amongst many of the younger generation… (not counting the Apple users out there! I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with Safari, besides on my phone).

It is said that there were 2 Browser Wars. The first in the late 1990s when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) prevailed over Netscape’s Navigator. Since 2003, the second Browser War has been on as IE slowly battles and loses market share to the newer browsers. This is obvious because I see many pictures poking fun at the ‘Browser Wars’ like:

This shows how the 3 browsers were fighting it out first, and Google Chrome just pounced out of nowhere... trouncing the the competition perhaps? Either way, see how Internet Explorer is almost pushed off the 'battle arena' and is just hanging on for dear life.  Either way you see it, it is super cute~~

This shows how the 3 browsers were fighting it out first, and Google Chrome just pounced out of nowhere… trouncing the the competition perhaps? Either way, see how Internet Explorer is almost pushed off the ‘battle arena’ and is just hanging on for dear life.
Either way you see it, it is super cute~~

This just shows Firefox and Chrome fighting it out like kids. And Internet Explorer... eating glue? Well, it's clearly out of the competition, but also very cute :p

This just shows Firefox and Chrome fighting it out like kids. And Internet Explorer is… eating glue? Well, he’s clearly out of the competition, but still very cute :p

The latest joke poking fun at the browser wars also, about how Internet Explorer is just.... not working....

The latest joke poking fun at the browser wars also about how Internet Explorer is just…. not working….

So as you can see, the general consensus is that Internet Explorer is not that fantastic, as compared to the other browsers. So I was quite surprised to learn that it is still in the Top 3 most used browsers today. As of January 2014, from http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp :

  1. Google Chrome: 55.7%
  2. Mozilla Firefox: 26.9%
  3. Internet Explorer: 10.2%
  4. Safari: 3.9%
  5. Opera: 1.8%

What really surprised me was the small numbers of Safari users, in comparison to the IE users. In the last decade or so, it can be observed that the Mac has expanded beyond the artistic community and into the masses. The adoption of IPads and other tablets should have increased the Safari users and decreased the IE users significantly…

So I wonder who are the IE users???

I was pondering this until…. I went to my office and realised that more than HALF of my colleagues were still using Internet Explorer! I was hysterical, exclaiming to everyone (especially those in my department) to download and change to the new browsers, or rather specifically, Chrome. To their benefit, there was not much resistance from their end. They just wanted the Internet, and to them, the browser WAS the Internet. So when I downloaded Chrome(using IE, haha) and taught them how to use, there was no turning back for them either. It was faster, easier, more intuitive, and mostly faster, which saves A LOT of time for us because we pretty much spend the whole day on the Internet.

So I found out that it might be those who are unaware or unplugged from the IT advancements like my colleagues, who don’t know the existence of faster browsers. My office staff age range between 35-55 years old, and are not in an IT-related industry. They form a portion of the 10.2% and I can understand now why there are so many others. However, I believe that we should let them know and ‘convert’ them to the newer browsers where possible because it matters!

Funnily, I actually found a website: http://theie8countdown.com

http://theie8countdown.com/ - dedicated to drop support for IE8

http://theie8countdown.com/ – dedicated to drop support for IE8

One of the reasons mentioned by the founder is that it actually slows down the progress of Internet development, because designers have to spend extra time catering different versions for the browsers, and also it limits the features available to users when websites don’t adopt a new technology because IE users and IE compatible websites cannot use it. This is especially so when most of our Singapore government websites still run most compatible with IE instead of other browsers. Imagine if new, faster, more convenient tools can be adopted for e-processes like tax-filing, bidding, applications etc.

IE is simply blocking the development of the whole World Wide Web. – Josef Richter, founder of http://theie8countdown.com/

 I did a Google search just for comparison’s sake…

321 MILLION results in 0.28 seconds.  (The marvel of search engines is a whole topic altogether!) A simple scroll showed all kinds of websites discouraging IE

321 MILLION results in 0.28 seconds. (The marvel of search engines is a whole topic altogether!) A simple scroll showed all kinds of websites discouraging IE

203 million hits. As seen, not all the results advocate the use of IE, but are simply results that were against IE instead!

203 million hits. As seen, not all the results advocate the use of IE, but are simply results that were against IE instead!

I checked out the newest Internet Explorer 11. I am glad to see that they are improving their services and quality. PCMag reviews stated that the speed and simplicity is now better and they are leading in phishing protection. However, I tried it out myself, but still found it slower and most importantly, less intuitive than Chrome. So there lies my choice, and apparently PCMag Editors as well!

What about you guys?

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One thought on “Week 1:Internet Browser Wars: Internet Explorer out?

  1. Already for your older colleagues, the rate of newer technological adoption is slow (Google Chrome was released back in ’08). Which gets me thinking, how will we fare with technological adoption 20 years when we have (supposedly) beautiful families of our own? I mean we’re tech-savvy now, but technology will always beat us to the finishing line, especially more so in the generations ahead I believe.

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