The Real Reason IE Stinks

How Chrome will Steamrole over Microsoft\'s IE

This is not another blog post about Chrome, it’s an observation I have on the current browser landscape and the real reason why Internet Explorer has barely changed in 10 years.

I’ll admit though that it has improved slightly, but it’s nothing compared to what should be happening in a truly competitive environment.

A Shift in Consumer Behaviour

Google are transforming how regular consumers expect software to be delivered. As a web developer, this is a very good thing. Five years ago, when people thought of the Internet, they thought of Amazon and eBay. Nowadays they’re thinking of Gmail and Facebook. This shift in opinion on how software is consumed is an incredibly important one, and it leaves the advantage square at the feet of Google.

When people think of software I want them to think of a web application. I want them to think of the Internet. That’s because I’m a web developer and the larger the demand for web apps, the more business comes through my door. So, just like me, Google are hoping for the same thing, except rather then looking for our business, Google is looking for our attention. And a more advanced browser will increase our experience, and our attention online.

A Better Browser Means more Power to Google

But for Microsoft, it’s just not in their interest for browsers to become more advanced. Microsoft knows that Google is the king of the Internet and if browsers become more powerful, so does Google’s platform of choice.

The browser is already starting to make the desktop redundant, and Microsoft knows it. They know that a more powerful browser means Google’s applications like Gmail and Google Docs will become even more of a threat to the likes of Office, and Outlook. So, it’s my hunch that they’ve been deliberately avoiding making any significant advancements to Internet Explorer for this very reason.

Chrome Changes Everything

With the launch of Chrome (and the open source Chromium), Google have taken matters into their own hands and I’m confident that we’ll start to see more and more powerful features being introduced for the new browser over the next 12-18 months.

At this point, Gears will probably take centre stage and we’ll really start to see how powerful it can be. Drag ‘n’ Drop from browser to desktop is surely just around the corner along with a plethora of other cool ways to interact with the desktop.

The release of Chrome has turned the browser world on it’s head, and Microsoft’s attempt at curbing it’s advancement is over. This is good news for Google lovers and great news for web application developers.

It’ll only get better from here on in.


2 Comments added. Add comment?

  1. Gordon says:

    Hi Iarfhlaith,

    I don’t know if many people knew about Chrome before it appeared on the scene the other day, but it was a complete surprise to me other than the odd rumour on Slashdot.

    At first I was thinking about how this might effect Firefox. Google give Mozilla a lot of money and I was thinking this will probably lead to that funding coming to an end.

    It would seem to me though that Google would continue to fund both their own browser and their contributions to Firefox too. The money involved is probably petty cash to Google and it will do them no harm to be involved in 2 browsers against IE.

    All that aside, I totally agree with you that this has turned the browser world on its head. Chrome lacks odd items like identification of a sites RSS feed. I assume they have something interesting up their sleeves in this area and others.

    Still with Firefox for now, is Chrome your default browser now?

    Sep 9, 2008
  2. Iarfhlaith says:

    Google’s contract with Mozilla is only good until November. I wonder will they renew? The Google contract is worth about $60m a year to Mozilla and if they lose it, they’ll really struggle for funding.

    As for me, I just can’t stop loving Firefox. The main reasons are all the little plugins that I use everyday. Things like:

    • S3 Fox
    • Firebug
    • Web Developer
    • Live HTTP Headers
    • Remember the Milk for Gmail
    • WML Browser
    • Google Notebook
    • Foxmarks

    Until Chrome has some kind of plugin facility, I’ll be standing firmly in Firefox’s corner.

    But honestly, I think the main thing here is that Google don’t expect Chrome to take over the market, they simply want it to influence the design of the existing browsers.

    I mean at the end of the day, it’s just a browser. Google’s motivation for releasing Chrome is because they need a more powerful platform to run their apps. The way I see it, they’re just giving the browser wars a little stir to try and get things moving again.

    Sep 9, 2008

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