To think it has been a decade or two since the Netscape and Internet Explorer debacle. It has been a decade since the infamous Internet Explorer 6 came into existence and lit up our screens with pop up ads for products that we did not want or need or not safe for work ads. Those ads would popup at the most awkward moments. There was no popup blocker then for IE at the time. The frustration of sites not working or how long it took to load pages. AIM and AOL were big back then and dial up was king. Chat rooms and instant messaging were the norm and not the exception. Junk emails filled email accounts without much of a spam filter. Nokia companies has closed same with certain features of Yahoo. Some have nostalgia for those days while others called it ‘the Dark Age of the Internet’. ‘IE’ aka Internet Explorer was the browser everyone disliked and computer security specialists loathed. The internet has evolved since then and Internet Explorer still to this day remains notorious.
Microsoft is hoping to bury Internet Explorer for good with their new browser Edge. The browser Edge comes with Windows 10 and has a host of features. Microsoft claims that it runs faster than both Chrome and Firefox (the two main browsers that are used right now). The search function is fast and easier than before and the UI has changed to make it easier for the user. The hub has everything from your downloads to your reading list. If an article is informative you are able to write notes on the page. The reading list makes it so interesting reads can be saved. Cortana makes her debut to Microsoft’s new Edge to help with searches. Just ask Cortana something and she will answer. The browser has so many features available for it. It may or may not live up to the hype.
The browser could end up like Internet Explorer if Microsoft does not listen to it’s users. Users love Firefox for it’s customization and Chrome for it’s speed and flexibility. They have spend years making sure they were user friendly and used Internet Explorer as an example on how not to make a browser. Internet Explorer was disliked for a reason. It was filled with security holes which could give a person malware from just going to a site. It did not work with a lot of websites and gave website owners lots of trouble when making or updating their sites. Active X has now became a dirty word due to the security risks and frustration. Microsoft either stopped caring about IE or just got too arrogant. They need to be open to new ideas and listen to the site admins or web designers about Edge’s problems if any come up. To get the users they have to gain the trust of them. Safety is a big concern now with PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), Rogue Anti-Virus, Ransomeware, rootkits, and other scary malware. There is also another thing Microsoft needs to know so history will not repeat itself. Privacy is a main concern as well among users and if they disregard that they will stay relevant but instead of beloved Microsoft would become infamous.
If Microsoft thinks they can stay relevant forever they are wrong. The browser, and Windows being high quality products will make sure they are kept alive and relevant in today’s internet.