Expecting a short sassy article from PCWorld on why Microsoft should kill IE, I was taken aback by the length and serious examination of IE’s quandry. First, PCWorld established the current demise:
1)IE is way behind the top 4 alternate browsers [Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla firefox, and Opera] in features;
2)IE is way behind the top 4 alternate browsers in performance;
3)IE is way behind the top 4 alternate browsers in compliance with W3C and other Web standards;
4)IE had to suffer the humiliation of having the Chrome Frame plugin from Google replace all its key innards, and only then could IE compete with the 4 alternate browsers for speed and standards compliance;
5)IE is now losing nearly a percentage point in market share each month.
Then author Jason Cross proposes a complete revamping of IE – not just a new name and styling but shooting for features, standards compliance, and performance well beyond what the current top 4 browsers do. Think of the browser as a unifying UI framework for all of Windows faces: Windows Mobile 7, Windows Embedded, Windows XP, Windows 7.
Suddenly, it dawned on me this is certainly what Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Google are already doing. Can Microsoft afford to give up the other role of IE – obstruction/barricade to progress on the Web – thereby guaranteeing things always run best on the Windows desktop?? Can they hope to best the front runners who have a 2-3 year lead on doing the right thing. This will be a hard pill to swallow in Redmond.