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Is IE dead? What will be the effect of cross browser testing with IE dead?

How death of IE effect cross browser testing and developers?

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Posted 5 months ago


Internet Explorer was a huge hit back in the 90s and the start of the 21st century. But now, it has become a lost hero. There is no surprise in seeing that Internet Explorer has and is losing the market everyday because of many factors that we may consider in this post. Some companies have even stopped developing their products for the internet explorer just to save their time and money. We cannot blame them for this step.You can see that in the image shared at the top that Internet Explorer (as of 2019) captures only ** 5.14% of the market** .

This includes all the platform and all the operating systems on the desktop which was the main platform for IE. Why has IE been forgotten? What led to the death of IE? Well, there are few reasons that are more typical.What Will Be The Aftermath From The Death Of IE?For a software, the saddest part is leaving it without any new features and updates in the ever growing technical market. This ultimately becomes outdated and left by its loyal users. This is what Internet Explorer is going through. Internet Explorer is dying and it is not a metaphor. This is a real fact. It has reached a point where the majority of its users are those who either are using an outdated windows or system are using it. But, since browser is not one in the market, just like any other product it also has competitors. Whenever something goes down, another competitor picks up. Effects are always visible for such scenarios and Internet Explorer is not an exception.

The death of Internet Explorer packs a significant punch.Cross Browser Compatibility IssuesOne of the main steps in developing anything related to the browsers is cross browser compatibility. If you do not know, I will just brief you a little. Cross browser compatibility means the compatibility of a web application or a websites to adapt to the rendering differences among different browsers. It should behave in the same way in all browsers as it does on the browser you tested.So, if you think about it, whenever you are developing a new feature of your website or a whole new website, you will definitely face cross browser issues in Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is a wild card in the area where rules are to be followed. But, as I mentioned, Internet Explorer is still used by many people today. Although this percentage is very less and minimum in terms of the major browsers, but people follow this to reach more audience. The practise of finding cross browser compatibility issues in your website or web-application is termed as cross browser testing. You can perform cross browser testing either manually by interacting with your website through different browsers & OS or you could even opt for automated cross browser testing.LambdaTest is a cross browser testing tool on cloud that helps you perform both manual as well as automated cross browser testing with an online Selenium Grid of 2000+ browsers.Cross browser compatibility issues remains one of the major headaches for the developers because it is very rare that you develop something in today’s world and pass the IE test smoothly.Google Chrome & Other Major BrowsersInternet Explorer had gained the market in the late 20th century and netscape’s browser was seeing a huge decline in its popularity.

A huge setback for Netscape, they released their browser code to the open community to save their dying browser. It did not help. To overcome the loss, they decided to form a community called the Mozilla community to develop a browser which is independent, open and standalone.The release of Firefox saw a huge increase in the popularity and 60 million downloads within 9 months of its release. The Internet Explorer was not wounded by this. The market capture and audience Internet Explorer enjoyed was unparalleled. This phase was ended by Google when they released the Google Chrome browser in 2008 for Windows. This browser was one of its own and Google was prepared to make it the best. They released the browser with the focus on being open source and the tagline Fresh Take on the Browser.Edge Snatching From IEMicrosoft showed the white flag on Internet Explorer along back. Microsoft took 5 years to launch IE7 after IE6. One version was taking five years which shows how much they were serious about retaining the market share they were enjoying. By that time Google’s browser and Firefox had captured the market, Microsoft tried to rectify its mistake. They found it really expensive from every angle to rebuild Internet Explorer.

It was already infamous. It had already gained a very bad reputation. In 2015, Microsoft came up with Edge for Windows 10, Microsoft brought a new browser called Microsoft Edge and it came pre-installed as a default browser in the new windows. It adheres to the web standards and was built on the engine Chakra. Later in 2017, Edge was released for both Android & iOS. In 2019, Edge was made available for macOS as well. However, As of 2019, Internet Explorer still remains more popular than Edge. The reasons range from the people who are using Internet Explorer because they are stuck on Windows XP or 7. A good number of people see some plugins, extensions and applications which works fine in IE but not on Edge. This has distributed the audience into two groups. Microsoft tried to gain audience and keeping the IE audience but instead they have divided the audience into two groups. Those who use IE and those who use Edge. This has hurt Microsoft even more. To gain the IE audience, Microsoft has shifted its Edge focus from Chakra to Chromium engine. The same engine that is used by Google Chrome to develop their browser. They have also included the use of v8 JavaScript to achieve stability and speed.

As of now, Microsoft is rebuilding the Edge to make it compatible to IE applications and plugins.Microsoft is struggling in the Browser War that the world is fighting. It is hurt, wounded and dying. Keeping to cope up in the market, progressive enhancement is considered the best shot not only for IE but also for the future of web design.Progressive Enhancement & The Future Of IEProgressive enhancement is a process of building the basic content of a website which can be viewed/ parsed or should be parsed in every browser. Keeping in mind the cross browser compatibility, progressive enhancement is a very efficient technique in web design where the browser version and the type of browser do not play an important role. So, if you are developing a fancy website and some of whose components are not implemented in an older version of a browser, you do not need to worry about the loss of audience.

Anyone who opens the website will be able to see the basic structure and content of the website. Once you are done with the basic structure, you develop other features and fancy attractions on top of it. You can think of it as a layered method where the first layer is the basic layer which is accessible to all. All the top layers are just improving the presentation of website without altering its meaning.Now you must be thinking that why do we need to have different features for the same website when you can develop the basic structure and launch it. Well, this is where audience’s interest comes to picture. All the layers that are added are purely due to the way audience has started to perceive few things. Apart from development, progressive enhancement plays a vital role while you are testing your website.

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Posted 5 months ago