IE8 Is the Most-Used Browser in the World, Microsoft Announces
Article by George Norman
On 03 Feb 2010
Redmond-based software giant Microsoft holds the lion’s share of the browser market thanks to its Internet Explorer browser. The thing is that there are several versions of Internet Explorer that Microsoft supports. There’s the outdated IE6 that no one likes, especially Google. Then there’s the IE7 browser, and last but not least, there’s IE8. The latter, IE8, is faster, safer and generally better than its predecessors. It is not faster than the competition, mainly Mozilla’s Firefox. The JavaScript engine in Firefox 3.6 is 4 times faster than IE’s JavaScript engine. But I digress.

The point is that IE8, compared to IE6 and IE7 is faster, safer and better overall. According to Microsoft, IE8 is also the world’s most used browser. Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, Brandon LeBlanc, explains:


“This week, Net Applications released their January browser market share report. Their report shows that Internet Explorer 8 is not only the most popular browser on Windows with 27.9% usage share, but that it now has 25.6% of market share across all OS’s on a worldwide-weighted usage share basis (data provided by Net Applications). We launched just less than a year ago, so it’s both humbling and thrilling to see so many people choose our product so quickly – making it the most popular browser of choice worldwide.”

To my mind, this is just another reason to leave previous IE versions behind and move to IE8. You should especially leave IE6 behind. Microsoft continues to provide support for IE6 and will do so for the lifecycle of Windows XP (because IE6 is the browser that came bundled with the XP operating system). But keep this in mind: IE6 was launched back in 2001. It is now 2010, a lot of things have changed – for the better.

The need to leave IE6 behind has been recently emphasized by Google. The Mountain View-based search engine giant announced that as of March 1, it will drop support for E6 on its Google Docs and Google Sites. Before that, YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced that it would also drop support for IE6.

You might be tempted to thing that Microsoft is not looking at this kindly, but you would be wrong. Microsoft has done all it can to get IE6 users to switch. While announcing that IE8 the world’s most used browser. LeBlanc took the time to clarify Microsoft’s position on the “drop support for IE6” issue.

“We support this recommendation to move off Internet Explorer 6. Modern browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 bring benefits for customers and developers alike. We realize there are some customers today who depend on Internet Explorer 6, and while we continue to support them through the lifecycle of the product, we are also investing in the tools and training to help them upgrade as well,” said LeBlanc.

Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE8
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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