Throughout the evolution of the wonderful world of the internet there have been several means to view websites. Yes, some have been better than others, but none have been more consistent in delivering necessary changes and updates to their users than Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer (IE) was originally created in 1995, but was soon upgraded to its version 2 during the same year. Over the next 6 years, IE modified their browser to accommodate the clientele 5 times to get to the most popular internet browser to date: Internet Explorer 6.
Internet Explorer 6
In 2001, Internet Explorer released their IE6. Because Microsoft built the browser for Windows, it was released with every version of the newly released Windows XP. It was also released with every other major version of Windows which were dominating the market at that point in time; IE6 had over 90% of total market share.
At the time, IE6 seemed to be the end-all of web browsers as it added more support for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), DHTML enhancements, a media bar, Windows Messenger integration, and auto image resizing. The biggest criticism that the browser received was the stability of its security. As the largest and most significant browser release in history, IE6 marked the best web browser available to users. However, all great things come to an end, and the end of this prolific web browser came with the release of IE7.
Internet Explorer 7
Internet Explorer 7 was released after a 5 year update hiatus for Microsoft’s infamous browser. In February of 2010, research reported that IE7 consisted of 14% – 19% of the total market share. The highly criticized security issues of IE6 were rehabilitated and improved to protect browser users. Along with that, there were several features added to the browser: tabbed browsing, page zooming, search box integrated in toolbar, RSS feed reader, and a tremendously better support for website standards. Along with this, there were security features added like phishing filters, and a button to easily (and quickly) delete browsing history.
Even though this was truly a much needed enhancement to its predecessor, IE7 still had issues. In late 2008, there was a bug found which allowed hackers access to personal information and passwords. Granted a patch for this bug was provided within 24 hours, but the damage had been done with over 10,000 websites impacted. This was the first (and truly the only) major issue that IE7 incurred to date. However, as with IE6, Microsoft made yet another upgrade to better assist the users to Internet Explorer 8.
Internet Explorer 8
With Internet Explorer 7 exceeding expectations with features and truly combating for market share amongst a rapidly growing competitive market, Microsoft decided to enhance their browser yet again with Internet Explorer 8. In the same study that deemed IE7 to have 14%-19% mhttp://blog.impactbnd.com/wp-admin/post-new.phparket share, IE8 is claimed to have around 27% market share. According to Microsoft, the basis for the upgrade is ease of use, overall security, and enhancements in CSS and RSS support.
The upgrade also comes with several new features. First and foremost are accelerators which are forms of selection-based search. Along with this comes changes to the autocomplete feature in the navigation bar, and an automatic recovery for tabs if your browser crashes. There were improvements and additions to web developer tools and a redesigned favorites bar. Overall, these are just a few of the additions that IE8 has supplied to the users; there are countless other upgrades that make IE8 one of the best browsers out there today.
So, when it comes to upgrading your web browser, hopefully you have been keeping your Internet Explorer up to date. If you haven’t, I would highly suggest (for you security and usability) that you do a systematic upgrade to the most recent version of IE8; you will not be disappointed in the upgrade!
To enhance our conversation about web browsers, stay tuned tomorrow for a conversation on today’s alternative and modern browsers.