Microsoft Windows is the most used operating system in the world, by a lot. In January of 2013, Windows 7 was being used by 44.48% of all desktop users, followed by 39.51% of users running the older Windows XP operating system. Combined they accounted for nearly 84% of desktop users. To say that Microsoft had the biggest slice of the pie would be an understatement. Yet, it is hard to believe that the largest shareholder also came with the least compliant internet browser. That is until late February 2013, with the release of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7.
Before this release, IE10 was limited to Windows 8 users, leaving older Windows user stuck with IE9, and in some cases IE8. With IE9 not being up to internet compatibility standards, Windows 7 owners were forced to install third party browsers, like Google Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox, to experience the internet at its fullest. Eventually, this lead to the rapid decline of IE users, which has shrunk to about 14% from 46% in late 2008, when Microsoft last had the majority. Microsoft is now trying to regain some of those losses with IE10 for Windows 7.
Competitors like Google and Apple have each established web browsers that run on the most modern browser engine, Webkit. Opera has also announced that future versions of their browser will be using the Webkit engine. These feature rich browsers make IE9 feel more like bloatware rather than a necessity. Microsoft released IE10 for Windows 7 to ensure that Microsoft stayed relevant in the competitive search browser space, by being comparable to other browsers.
“Why should I care?” You ask. Well if you are in front of a computer in an office right now, chances are your reading this with Internet Explorer. Why not use the fastest, smartest, most up-to-date version?
With these features, Microsoft can finally compete with the other modern browsers. However, it is still yet to be seen how much of the market Microsoft can reclaim. Although they have made recent strides to push the industry forward with Windows 8, IE10, and web based Outlook email, I am glad they have not forgotten the Windows 7 users of the world. IE10 will be a silent background update to all IE9 users in the next few week but if you would like to try it now you can download the update here and explore the internet as it was meant to be.