Despite years of cruising around the cyber seas, Internet Explorer is going the way of a romanticized, mutinous pirate—off the plank. Its glory days (hello, late ‘90s) came to a rather unfortunate end with the five year tenure of IE6, and there was no saving its reputation. With the majority of the market share before the advent of Firefox and Chrome, by the time people began defecting to new browsers, there was nowhere to go but down.
IE6, disaster that it was, became infamous for its security flaws and incompatibilities, and the versions that followed it were less than spectacular solutions. Oddly, as much as the world’s internet users hated it, the browser retained its majority market share for a few years after IE7 and IE8 were introduced. IE9 and IE10 were improvements, and IE11, which finally brought internet compatibility standards to the browser, was working reasonably well until users noticed that websites catering to IE suddenly stopped working because Internet Explorer stopped being Internet Explorer. Oops.
All this in mind, Captain Microsoft has given IE the ol’ heave-ho. When Windows 10 becomes available in July, IE will be accessible in the far recesses of the hard drive, but Microsoft Edge (formerly Project Spartan) will be the preferred internet browser. After years of trying to convince the masses that IE isn’t so bad, Microsoft has conceded to the popular will. Fortunately, the company seems to have stumbled across some previously unexplored (ironic, considering the browser’s name) wisdom, and Edge will comply with compatibility standards to save web developers a headache.
Edge will feature Cortana integration, digital annotation, and a reading view. If everything goes according to plan, the personal assistant (Cortana) will keep tabs on the user’s tabs (though it bears noting that Edge does not yet feature tabs) and provide additional information. For example, when Neighbor Josephus down the street searches for cheap Caribbean vacations, Cortana could pop up in a side bar with a long list of cruise ships. Annotation allows users to write on screenshots of websites, but reading view is more exciting. Edge allows everybody sick and tired of ads to throw them off the plank too. There’s something fulfilling about that.
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