Microsoft’s newest web browser was developed to be competitive, in terms of ease of use and speed, with Apple, Mozilla Firefox and Google’s Chrome. It’s now being beta tested by anyone who wants to download it…anyone who runs Windows 7 on their computer, that is. And that’s going to be a problem for Microsoft who’s trying to stem the growth of the above browsers in terms of worldwide share of computers using them.
Microsoft has been known to make some rather unusual decisions, but this one may keep them from attaining the very objective they set out to achieve. You see, by making some development decisions that caused IE9 to only run on Windows 7; they’ve excluded Windows XP users (66.7% worldwide), and Windows Vista users (15.3% worldwide). That leaves only Windows 7 users (17.4% worldwide). How do you take back market share from your competitors when you’re only able to address 17.4% of the market? Microsoft would tell us they’re counting on the XP and Vista users to switch to Windows 7. Good luck with that happening anytime soon. In the meantime, Apple, Mozilla and Google are planning to introduce updates to their browsers that are even cooler than their present products.
Instead of gaining market share, they may well lose more of the share they have now. Microsoft has upset the majority of the XP users by discontinuing support for the aging but well-loved operating system. And now, this snubbing of XP users may be the final straw for some. I can see many of them taking the same path that frustrated Vista users have done…switch to Apple computers; or change the browsers they use to Safari, Firefox or Chrome.
It seems to me that Microsoft has either taken this position because they are blindly sticking to their decision to not make further updates to XP (to run IE9); or more likely, they see it as a deliberate motivation to get more users to buy Windows 7. Either way, folks will be unhappy with these perceived heavy-handed tactics.
What do you think?
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