Microsoft has now hit 100 million users for Internet Explorer 7. But, says analysts, this isn't an impact on competing web browsers. This is simply internal growth.
Sure, maybe. But it's saying something that people are quickly switching to Microsoft's latest browser. I think that the interface looks very cool; it has quite an Aero influence to it. Although you might hate me for saying this, I love the Aero interface on Windows Vista. And this browser fits in perfectly.
I've read many reports of people that were previously Firefox users until IE 7 was released - and it seems to provide much of the features that Firefox has: pop-up blocking; tabbed browsing; spell checking (although it requires a plugin). Since I currently use a Mac, I don't have a chance to try out IE 7. But if I did use Windows, I most certainly would try it. It seems that Microsoft has taken a lot of good queues from competing web browsers - most noteably tabbed browsing, which I simply can't live without.
I think the real reason for Firefox's growth is the "hating Microsoft" trend that's brewed by community sites such as Digg, Slashdot, Reedit, and others. From my point of view, Microsoft has done a good job on Internet Explorer 7. Although I found IE 6 far too limited, IE 7 looks like it has finally found what users are looking for - at least for a while. A lot of people just think it's "cool" to use a different browser than everyone else.
I haven't seen a huge innovation trend happening in Firefox either. For example, the huge release of Firefox 2.0 wasn't even that great, considering the features that were added. Heck, you can even download Firefox 3.0! (not even beta of course, but still...)
As I continue to use Firefox on my MacBook, here are some things I would like to see implemented in an upcoming version of Internet Explorer:
- More platform support (Give Linux a chance, Microsoft!)
- Skinnable support
- Open sourcing of the IE core (of course that's just wishful thinking)