In the land of browsers, Internet Explorer is king—but not for long. The most-used browser in the world is swiftly losing its prestigious ground to up-and-coming web browser, Google Chrome. Computerworld released a report that predicts if Internet Explorer continues its user base free fall, Chrome could become the new browser champ as early as May 2016.
The downfall of IE is even more striking when you consider that the report lumped Internet Explorer together with Microsoft’s new Windows 10 browser, Edge. Microsoft’s troubling browser decline started raising eyebrows when Edge user base wasn’t growing as precipitously as its brand new operating system. PCWorld reported in September that Edge was only 14 percent of browsers running on Windows 10. Edge is also the default browser when you upgrade or boot up a new Windows machine. Chrome, conversely, had the lion’s share at 60 percent.
Fast forward six months later, and the news isn’t any better. That’s partly because of Microsoft’s January 12, 2016 browser support deadline for IE gave people a chance to rethink their browser of choice. It’s also because Edge is a new browser and with it comes glitches inherent to most new software, especially at launch.
But there are also two other big user issues. First, Edge still doesn’t support extensions (though they’re supposedly coming this year) or cross-platform support. So people who don’t like living life in a closed ecosystem are forced to used different browsers for different devices. It’s also why Apple’s Safari never broke out of its small share around 5 percent and Apple even has the benefit of a smartphone platform that’s worth a damn.
That isn’t to say Edge is trash. In fact, its notation tool on a Surface (or numerous other Surface clones) is A+. It just comes with inherent limitations. So why settle when Chrome or Firefox offer more? Sounds like some of Microsoft’s most fervent browser users may be asking the same question.