Surviving twenty years is no small feat, but Internet Explorers’ (IE) time has come to an end. Microsoft announced at their conference in Atlanta last week that that the Microsoft 10 operating system will no longer be equipped with Internet Explorer. Microsoft products will now run on a new generation browser called Edge.
It’s been 25 years since the first web browser (Netscape) was created, and 22 years since Microsoft/Internet Explorer essentially declared war on Netscape. Since the early 90’s Internet Explorer had a solid monopoly on the marketplace with 95% market share. With such a lengthy monopoly, Microsoft had very few reasons to update their technology; which allowed current web giants such as Mozilla (the phoenix risen from Netscape’s demise), Google Chrome and Safari to dominate the current marketplace.
The IE browser has caused no shortage of rivalries and crises for many enterprises. Early on in 2000, external companies and large organizations began building their IT infrastructure around the IE technology, and in the fall of 2001 after the publication of version 6, Microsoft completely disbanded their team of developers. During this time, there were a number of security flaws that caused problematic setbacks and damages for IE users, which talented programmers used as a stepping stone to capitalize upon. These developers were able to program their own browsers that slowly gained market shares from Microsoft, allowing current titans like Firefox to foster. In October 2006, after five years Microsoft finally published version 7.
In December 2009 the worldwide cyber attack “Operation Aurora” shook the tech community to its very core. Based on a security gap from IE versions 6 and higher with the Windows XP System, hackers were able to enter companies such as Google, Adobe Systems, Yahoo, and Symantec. As a result of this leak, government officials in Germany, France, and Australia issued an official warning banning the usage of Internet Explorer, and officially recommended the use of alternative browser systems.
In February 2015, poll results showed that Internet Explorer has been the most unpopular method used to surf the web, showing only 18% of the web market uses IE. Symbolically, Microsoft is the poster child for the mismanagement of success. Stagnant businesses allow competitors to supersede your business, and effectively supplant your place in the market. Microsoft blockaded its own innovation, and in turn was the sole renderer of the demise of Internet Explorer.
The announcement of the new Edge network looks to be a massive rebranding effort, and speculations are rampart that Microsoft will be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and reinvent IE.
Is a successful launch of the fresh new Edge browser enough to correct Microsoft’s past mistakes? Will they be able to become a major player in the World Wide Web once again?
For now, we will just say rest in peace Internet Explorer. You will not be missed.