Microsoft fights back in browser wars - TechCentral

Microsoft fights back in browser wars

Colin Erasmus, head of Microsoft SA's Windows business

Microsoft believes that the latest version of Internet Explorer will enable it to recapture market share it has lost to Mozilla’s Firefox browser and Google Chrome in recent years. The beta version of Internet Explorer 9 launched yesterday.

The company’s global browser market share has sagged from about 75% two years ago to 60% today, according to market research from Net Applications.

But Microsoft hopes that the performance enhancements and new features in Internet Explorer 9 will help it win customers back to its browser. The company describes Internet Explorer 9 as the leanest and fastest browser on the market.

Colin Erasmus, head of Microsoft SA’s Windows business says he is confident the new offering will change the way that people think about the Internet by offering snugger integration of Web content and applications with the operating system.

“People think of the browser as a utilitarian tool and it’s evaluated by how it performs in speeds, feeds and basic functionality. We want to change the terms of the debate. The future web needs more than just speed,” he says.

Microsoft says IE9 will make websites and web applications look and perform as though they were part of the computer. The browser will integrate with Windows features such as the taskbar.

For example, the new “pinned sites” feature lets you pin Web sites to the task bar so that you can open them directly without first accessing the browser.

In addition to several cosmetic changes, Microsoft is promising that IE9 will render graphically rich Web pages faster.

Erasmus says the new browser has generated a lot of interest among software developers. Microsoft’s increased support for open standards will help IE9 gain in popularity among developers, he adds.

Internet Explorer 9, for example, embraces the emerging HTML5 standard for video playback and other interactive and graphics-intensive applications that required third-party plug-ins in the past. — Staff reporter, TechCentral


  1. Erasmus knows that the fight is over on the desktop. With VDI and cloud its a matter of time until Google and VMware take the lions share of the desktop market and as for IE9…….. lets rather move on.

  2. I see that its just for Vista and 7 at this stage. Seeing that I’m running Xp at work and will do so for a while still, I’m just glad that I dont have to download some bloat software again from MS.
    Currently on my home PC (7) I’m using Chrome and Firefox, a but more happy with the former, so wont download it there either.

  3. @Rendani That might explain why your website looks so awful on IE, and doesn’t work properly. It’s beyond my comprehension how website designers can take the stance you do – and it happens a lot – it’s such an unprofessional and ignorant attitude.

  4. MS need to pull their heads out of the sand and look at the scenery – open source is the way forward and them building IE into their propreitary OS is opportunistic – they just want the money.

  5. @Grant P you’re right… companies like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple and Google will never amount to anything. I don’t see them lasting much longer. Although they all support open source to some degree, their main business is based on closed source products.

  6. @Greg, too right you are. Luckily most websites now don’t pretend that Firefox is crippled because its not IE. I’d say website designers have grown up on that issue. But there are many sites that can allow you to get visual feedback for browsers that you don’t have. To be honest having to test our apps on Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari and Opera takes a lot of time. To be honest we care less and less about IE, because new versions work and because old version aren’t worth our time anymore.

    Truth of the matter is that I’m happy to see IE9, but things move so quickly in the browser space now that I’ll hold out on any judgement call about this turning around Microsoft’s downward market share trend. Can they turn that around? Somehow I doubt it. They still don’t have some of the things that draw people to competing browsers.

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