Could Microsoft's Internet Explorer head to Android?

Yesterday, we revealed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most used desktop browser in the world. Internet Explorer 11 is used by 12.8% of users worldwide since it was released in October 2013. All versions of Internet Explorer combined are used by a whopping 59.19% of global desktop users.

Due to the booming mobile devices market, a speculator claims that company could penetrate the market even further with an Android version of the program.

According to Twitter user @dovellonsky, Microsoft could release a browser on Google’s Android platform which is used by the majority of smartphone users in the world

Technie News reports the project would be one of Microsoft’s biggest projects in the mobile app department by far. The rumoured app would join Internet Explorer's Xbox One version which was revealed in November last year.

However, the rumour is most likely unreliable. The Twitter user has no known links with Microsoft or Google and admits there are “no pubblic source(s)” (sic) to confirm the rumour. While it is probably false, it isn't a bad idea as it could inspire users to push for a Microsoft browser alternative on devices. Considering the global smartphone market exceeded one billion shipments, it isn't an absurd rumour either.

So to answer the question, will Internet Explorer make a debut on mobile devices? It probably won't happen any time soon. If Microsoft eventually decides to begin working on an Android version, it would be interesting to see how well it competes with the stock Internet and pre-installed Google Chrome apps.

Source: Technie News | Image via Scarichiamo

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I can't believe that anyone would willingly seek out and download and instal IE on Android. The only reason IE has such a high marketshare on the desktop is because of either company policy or because it comes with Windows and people don't know how to download and instal another browser.

Microsoft should focus and not have a finger in every single pie.

I feel like porting IE to Android will be the same as porting Bing to Android - nobody but the fans will use it.

I personally use Bing on Android and surely would use IE instead of any other Android browser, but how many more people could say the same?

I already use Microsoft's Skype, Outlook (Hotmail), OneDrive (SkyDrive), and OneNote apps on my Android Phone. I'm not sure if I'd actually use it but I'd like to have the OPTION to use IE too.

Internet Explorer 11 is used by 21.73% of users worldwide since it was released in October 2013. All versions of Internet Explorer combined are used by a whopping 59.19% of global desktop users.

Sigh.. According to a single statistics company (NetApplications), which itself admits that it employs such nebulous and esoteric methodologies like geo-weighting that mostly involve China.

And let's not forget that the only reason IE has any marketshare at all is by virtue of the fact that it comes preinstalled on every Windows PC.

What would be interesting is to see what marketshare it could attain given only the benefit of the brand. It will never happen of course, because it's pretty obvious, the only way MS could get people to use it is if it preflashes it in the firmware of Nokia's X phone.

It wouldn't do any good on iOS. Mostly because you can't choose default applications and the fact no matter which browser you use, they are all webkit based and they come up as Safari.

But IE on Android would be ok I guess. But we have enough browsers already. Keep IE where it has been for years, on Windows.

Some things just don't look right on other platforms. Line Windows just doesn't look right on a Mac (the placebo effect). Like OS X doesn't look right on a PC brand.

I think that would be great. The only reason I use Chrome nowadays is because it's DevTools are still better than IE (although greatly improved in IE11). For me IE works better, faster and has better font rendering than Chrome...

I actually like this move. Since they're adding sync'ing, better tabbing, etc. across devices...this is smart. Also, I like that this is coming to Android because the Chrome experience is lackluster. The stock Android browser is also easily the worst mobile browser of the bunch, so it's good that Microsoft is trying to expand the IE footprint.

While I perfectly understand why they want to do this, I'm sure it's a bad idea. IE is hated by many people and I'm not sure Microsoft will be able to replicate the exact experience as IE is deeply built into Windows. It will have low popularity and terrible rates...

This makes perfect sense to me. Not only is taking Google's infiltration strategy and reversing it but it also gives users of other MS devices feature parity with mobile IE.
In fact the more I think about it the more sensible it is.

Microsoft is a SOFTWARE company. They should be making software for ALL devices because their software is ultimately, actually, quite awesome.

Studio384 said,
Actualy, they are a Service & Device company.

The Device part of the business is anything but a good business for MS.

Brony said,

The Device part of the business is anything but a good business for MS.


If you've actually used their devices, they are top notch.

j2006 said,
...

Every ergo keyboard. I find their mice hit and miss, but I love my arc touch.
xbox360S and xbox one
Zune 120
LifeCam pro.
LifeChat headset.
Surface RT
You're right they do make fine hardware.


That said, with this transition Microsoft should do EVERY rumour.
Infest the competing OS landscape with their software and service offering.
Erode differentiality of their own OS by enabling Android Apps on windows OOB without requiring blustacks or similar technologies, just to spite the OEMs.

Going to be a great time in computing, that's for sure.

Brony said,

The Device part of the business is anything but a good business for MS.


Says you. Microsoft is only behind the largest maker of PC peripherals, Logitec.

Why not? IE is one of the only browsers that isn't cross-OS, it would attract others to the platform if they saw how good the user experience with IE is, they're missing an opportunity. Give Apple and Google some competition! Collecting user metrics on other platforms would also help Microsoft improve their own products by seeing how people use the competition.

That would be fun. Imagine then MS going to the EU antitrust idiots and asking for a browser ballot on Android.
Or use that as a leverage to remove the ridiculous browser ballot on windows.

Would be fun. Anyway, the Browser ballot won't be part of Windows Threshold anymore. They have to do it only until begin 2015, with Threshold in April, it shouldn't be part of it anymore.

dopydope said,
Imagine then MS going to the EU antitrust idiots and asking for a browser ballot on Android.
Why wait for MS to port IE? There are multiple browsers available for Android already so why not do this now?

"However, the rumour is most likely unreliable. The Twitter user has no known links with Microsoft or Google and admits there are “no pubblic source(s)”

Oh dear, Neowin - this really is taking "unprofessional journalism" to a new low and scraping the bottom of the barrel!

If I tweet "Windows XP to be made "open source" on 8th April #rumor #speculation" or "Windows 8.1 to be free to all Windows XP users #rumor #speculation" - will you do an article on me & my tweet too(!)?

This is pure click bait. It's even mentioned in the article that it's highly unlikely...

However, the rumour is most likely unreliable. The Twitter user has no known links with Microsoft or Google and admits there are “no public source(s)” (sic) to confirm the rumour.

Might become the default browser on Nokia X then? I smell Microsoft making all its services available on Android to build a Microsoft Android as alternative for Google Android for OEMs that are getting sick of Google. Then, push the Microsoft Android users and OEMs to Windows Phone. Might be fun.

I hope so! We need a very serious amount of competition on mobiles with WebKit being so dominant.

Funny, just before I read this article I was shouting at Internet Explorer on my laptop for not working correctly. I'll be skipping this if it does become available.

Nick H. said,
Funny, just before I read this article I was shouting at Internet Explorer on my laptop for not working correctly. I'll be skipping this if it does become available.
Please update your IE6 installation.

Studio384 said,
Please update your IE6 installation.

Windows 7, using IE9. Due to it being a work machine I can't upgrade it, but considering I have had issues with all previous versions of IE as well the damage has been done, I use a different browser whenever possible. I'm not sure what Microsoft could do to make me consider trying IE on my mobile, but given that this is merely a rumour it's moot.

Nick H. said,

Windows 7, using IE9. Due to it being a work machine I can't upgrade it, but considering I have had issues with all previous versions of IE as well the damage has been done, I use a different browser whenever possible. I'm not sure what Microsoft could do to make me consider trying IE on my mobile, but given that this is merely a rumour it's moot.

I've never had any stability issues with IE. Even IE6 was more stable than the competition back then.

instabilities are likely caused by crappy addons installed by 3rd party apps.

if you use an up to date version of Flash Player, and disable all the unnecessary addons in Tools, Addons Management, the stability should improve.

if problems persist, then the culprit may be your antivirus or any security related utility that injects code in iexplore.exe without using the plugin infrastructure.

give a try to IE on a clean install of Windows, without 3rd party apps, and you may be surprised by how well it performs.

Nick H. said,

Windows 7, using IE9. Due to it being a work machine I can't upgrade it, but considering I have had issues with all previous versions of IE as well the damage has been done, I use a different browser whenever possible. I'm not sure what Microsoft could do to make me consider trying IE on my mobile, but given that this is merely a rumour it's moot.

I'm sure if you use firefox 3, you will run in to many issues too.

IE on Windows is brilliant! Works well for me 99% of the time. Once you frequent websites, it gets pretty fast at loading pages...

Again, your opinion may vary...

would be super good. I hate using Chrome, worst browser ever, I dont understand why google forces us to use that trash. I much preferred the stock browser.

Raa said,
Google doesn't force you to use anything...

Yeah, but they would rather you don't use anything else. Which shouldn't be getting a free pass in the name of "choice" because they don't support it either .

Are you sure? They force me to use Google+ anytime I use any Google service - right from commenting on YouTube to merely rating an app on the Play Store!
Do you actually need to sign up for a service to rate an APP!?

kaizad1993 said,
Do you actually need to sign up for a service to rate an APP!?

I would think so... if only to verify that you actually purchased that app. It's not uncommon for app ratings to be manipulated or trolled.

Raa said,
Google doesn't force you to use anything...
Keep saying that and trying to convince yourself. Between the AOSP browser and Chrome you no longer have a choice to use the former unless you root the device which not everyone likes to do. Chrome on Android is one of the worst most unstable apps I've ever seen and is missing basic functionality.

Romero said,
Keep saying that and trying to convince yourself.

I'm 100% convinced when I can goto the Play Store and download alternative browsers of my choice.
Or sideload one I want if I like.

Then can you tell me how to get the AOSP browser from the Play Store or sideload it without rooting? I didn't mention any other third-party browser, but Google does force me to use Chrome instead of the far superior AOSP browser.

If Google was forcing you, then you wouldn't be able to use any other browser. This isn't about using a specific browser, or about rooting, it's about the comment "Google forcing" - which it does not.

It's very much about "Google forcing" when it comes to a choice between AOSP browser and Chrome. My comments have never been about any other browsers but when it comes to these two, there is lack of choice involved forced onto users by Google.

We can go back and forth all you want but I don't give a fig about other browsers. All I want is the AOSP browser without rooting and Google is forcing me to use a very buggy Chrome instead, period.

Romero said,
We can go back and forth all you want but I don't give a fig about other browsers.

Then I believe we are done here.

They ceased development of a version for OSX, so I seriously doubt they'll start making one for a Linux platform, even Android.

Or they might re-visit it... given that they are a devices and services company now. In order to reach a broader market, they are doing lots of things cross-platform now.

That is true. One of the first things I noticed when Microsoft bought Skype was they updated the Linux version of Skype with new icons, better stability, and took it out of Beta, within less than a month.

YES!!! I have a WP and a Windows tablet, love the touch experience IE has on them. It would be awesome to have IE on my android phone, all the other browsers just don't have that smoothness. Beside, it's good for m$. This should have been done early before, but better late than never, hope IE for android will be pre-installed on Nokia X series.

If Microsoft did port it and kept it up to date this could be awesome, I wouldn't use it but the more people in total using mobile IE the better.

I'd use it if the scrolling was better. IE lacks functionality in its UI though. Everything is hidden in a menu like Word 2003.

j2006 said,
You don't have to use it.... though I would since IE11 >>> the rest

An IE fanboy using Android. I'm sure you exist.

Depends if they're going with a full IE or some kind of mobile version.

Having a full IE is the reason why I gave up my Android tablet and got a Windows Tablet. There's no excuse to not have a top notch browser on a high resolution tablet, and Chrome on Android isn't there yet (it will be in the future, and I expect it be as good as or better than IE when that time comes).