We’ve written a few articles in the past about our opinions and thoughts on Internet Explorer (IE).
This has mainly been to highlight the state of an ageing web browser, not just for general use, but for security and accessibility reasons too.
A lot of our clients and contacts still use this browser as their main default browser (you may be reading this article on it yourself right now)!
So it comes as a relief that over the past year, the good folks at Microsoft have been making some changes to their latest web browser, Edge.
Let’s go back a bit…
When Windows 10 was launched in 2015, Edge was the browser that was meant to take over from Internet Explorer. Instead, users were either still so used to using IE, had older systems that required it, or had to follow restrictions/regulations (common in the public sector), that they didn’t switch to Edge.
Browsing websites with Internet Explorer is fine for the most part, and you’d usually never know anything different. But when you try building a modern, responsive website for it, your world can come crashing down around you very quickly due to its quirks and shortcomings.
So what’s the problem?
For our part in web development, Internet Explorer is like a thorn in our side.
Here at Cole AD, we review and test on all of the major web browsers available: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer. While all other browsers display our sites how we want them to look, it’s always Internet Explorer that throws up a problem.
All those lovely designs… that navigation… the lovely slider you made with all the cool animations… they’d be all over the place – requiring workarounds and strange tweaks just to work on IE.
You start asking yourself the questions – What did I do wrong? What did I miss? Why am I still doing this to myself?
This has been the way of it for nearly 20+ years of web development.
The web browser landscape has favoured Google’s Chrome browser very highly in the past few years, with Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers trailing behind in usage. Our dear old friend Internet Explorer is becoming a thing of the past.
So here’s where Edge comes in.
The new version of Edge is built on Chromium, which is the same software platform that’s at the core of Google’s Chrome browser. This means that Edge immediately becomes a modern, fast, secure and very relevant web browser. It can take the mantle that Internet Explorer is leaving behind and move Microsoft into a new direction. Adding to this the fact that it’s now available for both PC and Mac, it means it can now reach an audience that Internet Explorer never could.
For us, this new version of Edge can’t come soon enough. Our hope is that current IE users will transition across to this new browser. The fact that it’s available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and macOS should be a no-brainer. We will certainly be doing our bit to transition clients across, especially with accessibility features in mind.
Can this browser finally displace Chrome from its position as the go-to web browser for PC users?
Can they convert Mac and non-Microsoft loving users to use it as their main web browser?
More importantly, can it replace Internet Explorer completely and save web developers the never-ending headache we’ve been having for years?
Fingers (and everything else!) crossed.
If you’re on Windows 10, Edge will automatically update to the new version.
If you are using Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or macOS, you can download it here: