Today I decided to go ahead and install IE 7 Beta 2, expecting of the ugly browser I dealt with while using Beta 1, this is what I found instead. After so long with IE as the “ugly duckling” of the browsing world, the Internet Explorer team seems to have built something with some degree of quality. While there’s still a lot needed to secure its weakening position in the market, this will have a real impact.
IE has been on a slow decline for so long due to Microsoft’s unwillingness (or inability) to even keep up the it’s competitors innovations, much less come up with an original idea. These changes are going to represent a huge step forward for IE, and it’s market domination. It’s about time that the powers that be in Redmond open there eyes.
Too little too late?
“Is this enough?” – I’m asking myself as I write this, will this save IE and end the browser war? Or, perhaps users are now educated enough in the existence of options to still choose what works best? If MS moves fast enough, I think this will slow the trend of moving away for IE to Firefox & Opera, but will it save IE in the long run?
Firefox & Opera are both a generation ahead of IE, and still gaining. This new version will have a profound impact in the near future, but will Microsoft continue to invest in keeping up? They’ve poured considerable resources into this update, the question is, will they keep it up after IE 7 goes gold?
Their competitors will, to that there is no question, this poses a real test for Microsoft, not in power or money – but in the willpower to fund a product that they give away. I guess it comes down to a simple question: What’s market domination worth?