Internet Explorer a close second place to Google’s rival
Our very own website, as seen on Internet Explorer 11. Now the runner-up to Google Chrome.
Back in 2008, we thought Google Chrome would have been ‘just another browser’ alongside Firefox and Internet Explorer. How wrong we were; the timing was bang on, given that Microsoft had an annus horribilis with Vista, and IE6 being the butt of jokes. This prompted our fellows in Redmond to launch IE7 and IE8, but Internet Explorer 6 was still used by a lot of systems.
Eight years on, and several versions later, IE’s popularity has fallen to 41.33% of browser market share (NetMarketShare, April 2016). Google Chrome is now on 41.71% worldwide. Only a year ago, IE and Chrome had market shares of 54% and 27.23% respectively.
The rise of Google Chrome
Google’s timing was spot on; whereas Firefox’s Mozilla Foundation set the trail, it was the might of Google who could realistically challenge the established order. For a time, Firefox was the world’s second most popular web browser, but it saw a rapid drop in market share in the last two years. From the off, Google Chrome set out to be a fast, lightweight browser, conforming to the latest web standards. A selling point that was supposedly lacking with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
There was another selling point. Android’s compatibility with Chrome, which meant using the same web browser as seen on desktop and laptop PCs. By contrast, Microsoft’s approach with Internet Explorer and lack of success with its Windows Phone meant for a rougher transition. One, in comparison with Google, which seemed haphazard.
Eventually, Microsoft began to integrate its mobile and desktop platforms with Windows 10, to date, its high water mark. Windows 8’s Metro interface wasn’t well received, though saved with the return of the Start button on version 8.1. Even so, it was too late to blunt the popularity of iOS and Android devices. As we have found with the latter, it has ultimately led to Chrome’s rising popularity.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft has more or less called time on Internet Explorer. As the number of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users diminish, there may be a gradual rise in favour of Edge, its successor. For some time, the next year or two, Chrome will be the World’s Favourite Web Browser.