The New Browser Wars

Mon, Jun, 03, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

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 Browser Wars Taking a New Turn

The first browser war took place in the mid to late 90's. It pitted Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and to a lesser degree, Opera, against each other. Due to a variety of factors, including Microsoft avoiding a potentially devastating judgment in a federal antitrust case, Internet Explorer market share grew to roughly 98% of users by 2002. The other browsers lagged far behind.

Fast forward to today. With the introduction of Google Chrome and several other popular browsers over the last 15 years, Microsoft's Internet Explorer line is now ‘officially’ defunct (though in still in use by some as explained below). Its Edge browser, which never quite got up to speed, has also thrown in the towel. With the introduction of Edge a new but similarly named Microsoft Chromium-based browser, we are beginning to see a shift towards another browser war involving siblings. It's no secret that Microsoft has sought to reclaim shares of the web browser market from Google for some time now. Now that both browsers share the same technological foundations we can expect increasingly fierce competition.

When discussing Edge during Microsoft's recent Build 2019 developer conference, Microsoft focused on privacy as well as developing a Mac version of Edge (something that hasn't been done in 14 years). But the numbers don't lie: with many corporate PCs still running Windows 7 with Internet Explorer as the default browser, despite Microsoft's urging to stop using it, Explorer still holds a 9% usage share, while Chrome is at 60%.

Whatever roots Edge has, it's an uphill battle, and you could argue it's one of their own making. With the initial feedback on the new browser being favorable, it will be interesting to see the worlds full reaction when it is finally released.

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