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US State Dept Switches To Chrome. Bye, IE!

As a Mac user, I hadn’t seen Internet Explorer in years until my mom moved in and needed help setting up her computer (a PC) and there it was, the little Saturn rings sadly slipping around the “e”. It was still as ugly and clunky as ever, and it made me grateful that years ago Microsoft refused to make a Mac compatible version of IE (regretting that decision now, I’ll bet).

For that four years or so I used Firefox, but about eight months ago switched again to the simple elegance of Google’s Chrome browser, which I adore, and wouldn’t change for anything. Turns out that the US State Department is also making that switch, a rather forward thinking move on their part and one most techies would sanction.

In this post on The Next Web, they ask: does this mean the end of Internet Explorer?

As recently as 2009, IE was the dominate browser across the world, with a market share of 64%. Of course, that was down considerably from 2002-2003 when IE had a solid 90% or higher of the world’s eyeballs. But as of January 2012, Internet Explorer has dropped down to a mere 39%. Here’s a handy chart thanks to The Next Web’s tumbler site.

According to many of the blog designers I’ve spoken to, one of the most challenging parts of setting up a blog for someone is the need to make sure it works in Internet Explorer as well as every other browser. Most can count on a site looking the same in Firefox and Chrome and even Safari (I’ve never used Opera, nor do I know anyone that does, so I can’t speak to that browser), but IE can often toss a wrench into the works.

But that’s not the only challenge that IE faces today; Google points out that IE’s privacy policy makes surfing the web challenging for users, because it blocks third-party cookies by default. This can contribute to sites not working in IE when they work on other browsers. Of course, Google’s got it’s own privacy battles these days, but this is a specific tech issue that is making IE ineffective.

But don’t worry; the folks at Internet Explorer are rolling out version 10 with the latest version of Windows (Windows 8), so perhaps some of these issues will be addressed. But what do you think? Are you an IE holdout? Will you make the switch?

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