What Is Internet Explorer?

Home & Family, Technology
on March 15, 2012

Internet Explorer is the standard web browser that comes with PCs that use the Windows operating system.

A brief history of Internet Explorer. Most people had no idea what the Internet was in the mid '90s. Very few saw what it would become. The folks at Microsoft, however, saw a growing public interest in the Internet and developed Internet Explorer 1.0 in 1995. Within three years, Microsoft had developed version 5.0 to meet the demands of a technology that was exploding in popularity. Microsoft then saw an increasing need for added security and in response made version 6.0 in 2001. Advanced safeguards were implemented in 2006 in version 7.0. Internet Explorer 8.0 cut down search time with user-friendly features. In 2011, Microsoft released version 9.0, building on what it already did well and including innovations to make individual websites look their best.

Key features that set Internet Explorer apart from other browsers. Internet Explorer includes features that other popular browsers do not. These features include full hardware acceleration for text, graphics and video provided by default, and notifications when add-ons are likely to slow down browser performance. Microsoft claims that Internet Explorer has the most protection against socially engineered malware and the best protection against phishing attacks. Internet Explorer also comes with compatibility mode, which allows more recent versions to view web pages designed for earlier versions of the browser.

Internet Explorer popularity. Internet Explorer remains the top used browser on the web, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the market share as of 2012, according to StatCounter. This popularity can be directly attributed to its presence on all computers equipped with Windows as its operating system. According to W3Schools, however, a website designed to educate individuals on web technologies, more technological savvy users go with either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as their primary browser, something Internet Explorer is trying to remedy with its release of IE 9.0

As long as Microsoft Windows reigns as the world's primary PC operating system, Internet Explorer will be a major player in the world of Internet browsers. This, however, does not mean it can rest on past accomplishments. With open source browsers becoming more popular, Internet Explorer will have to work to stay atop the browser world.