Internet Explorer falls behind Firefox in Europe for first time

Why did it take so long? Internet Exploder is about passable nowadays but not even close to best of breed and the extreme lack of trust in it that Microsoft meticulously cultivated over a decade or more should have put it to bed much sooner. Despite well publicised recent successes such as its ability to trap more malevolent sites than the rest (necessary, one might argue, because it is notably more vulnerable when it reaches them) and some long-needed if half-hearted improvements in security, speed and standards-compliance IE remains, at best, a mediocre alternative to Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera. It is interesting, therefore, how a technology that is manifestly inferior to virtually all of its competitors should still occupy one of the top two places in the charts. Force of history (the big one) driven by preferential attachment and the Matthew Principle, spawned by uncompetitive practices and aggressive marketing together with some very unwise choices by Netscape at precisely the wrong time in its history might help to explain a lot of it but, given the trouble IE has caused and the ease with which it can be replaced,  I can’t help feeling there is another dynamic at work.

Pleasingly, Landing visitors seem to know better and we have seen far more Firefox users on the site than any other browser by a very sizeable margin. Indeed, even Safari seems to give IE a run for its money and Chrome, while still very much a minority browser, is starting to show up on the charts as more than just a flat line near the bottom of the Y axis.

Address of the bookmark: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2011/jan/04/internet-explorer-falls-behind-firefox-europe

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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