Once upon a time Microsoft held a virtual monopoly of the browser market with Internet Explorer. It was a PC world and being the default browser pre-installed on Windows PCs guaranteed that almost everyone with a PC used it. That world doesn’t exist anymore.
IE is still dominant, but faces more competition now and it has suffered a dramatic decline in market share in recent years. Part of its challenge is that it is locked into the Windows OS. That limits the potential audience of users, and makes the browser less appealing for consumers who increasingly live in a multi-device, cross-platform world.
I wrote a blog post about why Project Spartan must be made available for all devices and platforms:
Microsoft recently revealed that it’s officially ending Internet Explorer (IE) with the launch of Windows 10. The venerable IE will be replaced by the streamlined new Project Spartan browser. Many are ecstatic about the demise of IE, and some are skeptical that Project Spartan is anything more than IE with a new coat of paint. However, the one thing Project Spartan really needs to capture market share has little to do with the browser itself: it needs to be cross-platform.
Microsoft has already conceded the cross-platform war. Its recent strategy of offering OneNote, followed by the full Microsoft Office productivity suite, on iOS and Android mobile devices has been effective. Last week, it added its Office Lens app for iOS and Android to extend the ability to scan documents and whiteboards from a mobile device on rival platforms. It needs to adopt that same all-inclusive mindset with Project Spartan.
Project Spartan cannot be a Windows-only browser like IE. Microsoft needs to make Project Spartan for Mac OS X, Project Spartan for iOS, Project Spartan for Android–maybe even Project Spartan for Linux. Much of the value of a browser today lies in the ability to open a tab in the browser on your PC and pick up where you left off from your smartphone while you’re on the go. People expect tabs, bookmarks, and even logins and passwords to be seamlessly synced. People want a browser experience that remains consistent no matter which device or platform they’re on.
IE once enjoyed a virtual monopoly of the browser market. Firefox and Chrome–and to a lesser extent Apple’s Safari–have eaten away at that dominance. IE still has more market share than all of those rivals combined, but its 90+% market share dwindled to just over 50%. Even that figure is debatable, because it depends on how you measure the browser market. There are metrics that suggest Chrome is more popular than IE.
Visit TechRepublic to read the full article: The one thing Microsoft’s Project Spartan browser needs to succeed.