No-Name Browsers Chip Away at Internet Explorer

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-05-04 Print this article Print

5. The features aren't there

As popular as Internet Explorer still is, it just doesn't boast the features that users really want. After years of waiting, Microsoft added tabs, but they don't work as well as Firefox's tab functionality. The browser even has extensions, but they pale in comparison to Firefox's add-ons. Internet Explorer is slow compared to Chrome, ugly compared to Safari, and still a security issue. The enterprise might still call it the preferred browser, but the consumer world is quickly jumping ship because of those major feature issues. It might only be a matter of time before the corporate world follows suit.

6. The Google conundrum

Google mystifies Microsoft. The software giant has been trying for years to find the search company's soft underbelly and capitalize. But so far, it hasn't been able to do so. That's especially true in the browser market. Although Google's Chrome browser is still far behind Internet Explorer, it's gaining ground at an astounding rate. It might only be a matter of time before it takes the second spot in the browser market, putting it within striking distance of Internet Explorer. That would be disastrous for Microsoft. The company might be able to fend off a small company, like Mozilla, but in a fight against Google, the company that has beaten it every step of the way so far, its prospects might not be so great.

7. The united fight against Microsoft

As much of a threat as Google is, Internet Explorer's issues can be directly attributed to the united fight companies like Mozilla, Opera and even Apple have started against Microsoft. As Internet Explorer's market share has slipped throughout the years, its much smaller competitors have gained. They've done so by taking aim at Microsoft every step of the way to make it clear to users that maybe Internet Explorer really isn't the best option.

8. The educated user

As users became more educated, Internet Explorer's market share declined. For years, folks used Internet Explorer because that was the browser they used at work and they were comfortable with it. But as Firefox started to gain traction, consumers quickly realized that there were other browsers out there that might satisfy them. As that happened, Internet Explorer started losing market share. Educated users saw Internet Explorer for what it was. And as those folks learn more about the industry, it will only hurt Microsoft's browser going forward.

9. No-names are actually doing well

Although it's easy to do so, we can't simply say that the browser market is the home of another battle between Microsoft and Google. Right now, Google's market share is extremely low compared to the leaders. But it's the success of the so-called, no-names, like Mozilla and Opera, that have caused Internet Explorer so much trouble over the years. Mozilla and Opera simply don't have the name recognition that Microsoft and Google do. For a while, that helped Internet Explorer. But as their names became synonymous with reliability, their popularity rose. And in the process, Microsoft lost market share. It's never good when an entrenched, well-known competitor is allowing unknown companies steal market share.

10. Microsoft is still lost on the Web

A contributing factor to Microsoft's troubles with Internet Explorer can be directly attributed to the company's inability to find the right strategy on the Internet. If nothing else, Google has shown that when used properly, a browser can actually enhance a company's success with its Web services. For years, Microsoft has failed to find that formula. When Internet Explorer was hovering around 90 percent market share, Microsoft should have used that to help its online services. It didn't. And now, it's wondering why it didn't make an online push sooner, since Internet Explorer is losing ground at a steady rate.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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