Microsoft Edge Ready to Give Internet Explorer the Boot
Introducing Microsoft Edge.
What began as Project Spartan has now been revealed as Microsoft Edge, a new browser debuting in Windows 10. Call it what you will. It’s Microsoft’s replacement for its maligned and aging browser, Internet Explorer. Once the standard in the field of web browsers, IE stumbled late in its 20-year reign.
Like a team that spirals from champion to basement dweller, Microsoft needed a change.
In 2012, Internet Explorer commanded 50% of the desktop browser market share, according to NetMarketShare, a web analytics specialist. By 2015, use had fallen to 46%. It barely registers on the increasingly important mobile radar at 2% where Apple Safari leads with 44% and Google Chrome comes in at 24%.
With a minimalist design and modern features, perhaps Edge can reverse Microsoft’s plummet in the browser market.
What’s so Good aAbout Microsoft Edge?
Internet Explorer couldn’t go here. Microsoft’s new browser is completely different from the beleaguered default browser. It comes with three core features.
CORTANA INTEGRATION | It’s Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now in the personal assistant game. Unlike Siri, Cortana is location-aware and able to suggest nearby places and give driving directions. It gets better – Cortana is the first personal assistant to integrate third party apps. Open and use your apps with voice commands.
Cortana will be integrated in the address bar on Edge, as well as the data-search process. It’s much more than just voice-recognition software. It’s been developed to know the Internet and the user – and become the ultimate personal digital assistant.
DIGITAL-INK ANNOTATION | With just a tap of the web note button, you can markup any page on an enabled device with a stylus. Archive, share and search notes you’ve made on digital documents.
INTEGRATED READING LIST | Even offline, access a reading list that captures bookmarks you choose. Synchronize your reading list through all your devices.
Microsoft’s brand new browser took clues from upstart platforms. The new guys offered customization, performance and utility Internet Explorer could not. Is it enough to win back hearts, though?
What must it do to overcome?
Even before a rollout of Edge, Microsoft faces obstacles. Microsoft fans have proven resistant to change. They often cling to older generations of operating systems, despite warnings of security risks. Remember the uproar over the start button and end of support for Windows XP?
Microsoft must overcome:
Internet Explorer Loyalists
The staunchest among them may not care much for the new look or features. They’d rather stick with the program. When browsers like Firefox and Chrome came on the scene, their enhanced security and agile updates drew former IE users in. Loyalists stuck by the scheduled updates of Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer carried many users into the Internet age. Today, many of its clients are corporate customers and small businesses who find it inconvenient to upgrade to a new version of software.
Internet Explorer Deserters
Microsoft’s campaign to revive its browsers and operating systems isn’t new. The Surface tablet and Windows 8.x OS emerged several years ago. By then, the migration to other browsers had begun.
Today, Opera and Torch draw users who never knew Internet Explorer. Why tolerate bugs, security quirks and outdated technology when there are other choices?
Microsoft’s pitfalls are lessons. The company must trust it has learned as it strives to catch up in the browser arena. Edge appears to have the functionality and features other platforms deliver, and more.
Can Microsoft pace itself back into the race while still providing the stability its corporate customers have stuck around for? Stay tuned.