Trivia Tuesday: The reign of Internet Explorer

Trivia Tuesday is back! After not coming out with a trivia article for just over a month, I'm back in business and ready to deliver some interesting (and probably pointless) facts about things in the tech world. This week I'm taking a look at Internet Explorer, which was once the world's favorite browser by an absolutely enormous margin.

Interesting chart: Before I dive into some facts about Internet Explorer you should check out this fantastic chart that lists various different browsers and their history. Well worth a look.

Internet Explorer was first bundled with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 and released in August, 1995 as version 1.0. Since then it has been updated many times right up to Internet Explorer 10 that resides within the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

According to Wikipedia's market share history for Internet Explorer, it peaked in 2003 when it occupied a whopping 94.43% of the market, with 59% of the market using IE6. By the following year IE marketshare dropped slightly to 91.27% but IE6 had then taken 83% of the market.

Between February and April 2012 IE commanded just 34.87% of the market according to StatCounter. It's most popular in North America with 40.91% market share, and least popular in Antarctica (with all of its approximately 4000 inhabitants) with just a 14.28% share.

Random stat: In 2008, Internet Explorer 4 had 0.01% of the market despite being released way back in 1997 in a Windows 95 update and then Windows 98. If there were 1.46 billion internet users in 2008, that means in 2008 there were still roughly 150,000 IE4 users.

Internet Explorer 6's persistently high market share despite it being so ridiculously outdated prompted Microsoft Australia to compare it to 9-year-old milk in 2010. You can watch IE6 die a slow death at Microsoft's IE6 Countdown website.

Windows 7 is the first version of Windows where Microsoft allows you to easily remove Internet Explorer without causing compatibility issues.

Easter egg: ‚ÄčThere is a single Easter egg in Internet Explorer (apparently), although it only works in IE4 so it's unlikely you'll be able to try it out. If you type about:mozilla into the address bar in Internet Explorer 4 it shows a solid blue page in reference to the infamous blue screen of death (BSoD).

OldApps.com has download links for all versions of IE right back to Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows 3.1. Perhaps you can try out the Easter egg after all...

The now iconic blue "e" logo for Internet Explorer (seen above) was first introduced with IE3 back in 1996 and since then the logo has remained relatively similar.

→ Read all the past Trivia Tuesdays

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There was another Easter Egg in IE4 which involved (if memory serves me correctly) going to "Help", "About Internet Explorer" CTRL+Dragging the globe onto the IE icon. The world then filled the screen and a credits screen appeared. There may have been more animation but with only 8MB of RAM at the time, it was 1FPS rendering all the way for me...

xpclient said,
Hope they don't further "simplify" and "re-imagine" it again and again and again.

Oh, geeze. You need to get over yourself...

Dot Matrix said,

Oh, geeze. You need to get over yourself...

?????? Where do 'I' come into the picture? We are talking about 'IE'. Have you lost understanding of English now?

xpclient said,

?????? Where do 'I' come into the picture? We are talking about 'IE'. Have you lost understanding of English now?

Computing needs to be simple. Plain and simple. Pun intended. You need to get over this simplification crapola.

Dot Matrix said,

Computing needs to be simple. Plain and simple. Pun intended. You need to get over this simplification crapola.

What OMG you seriously think that? Then what will happen to "advanced"? You need to get over the unrealistic expectation that everything should be simplified. If that happens, it will simply fail. People will choose the more versatile, more powerful thing. Like Windows 7 over Windows 8.

I switched to Firefox in 2004, but last year I had switched to IE9. IE still has its issues, but the pros outweigh the cons.

xiphi said,
I switched to Firefox in 2004, but last year I had switched to IE9. IE still has its issues, but the pros outweigh the cons.

So what are the pros? I haven't seen anything that IE9 does that FF, Chrome, Opera and Safari don't do as well or better. All of the afore-mentioned have a better UI than IE9 does.

LaXu said,

So what are the pros? I haven't seen anything that IE9 does that FF, Chrome, Opera and Safari don't do as well or better. All of the afore-mentioned have a better UI than IE9 does.

It has a small chrome then all other browsers, it's pretty damn fast due to Hardware Acceleration, it's really simple, it looks native and it's one of the most safest browsers out there, if not the safest.

xiphi said,

Most likely due to piracy.

this has nothing to do with piracy. The people in china probably don't even know about these updates or they just don't see the point. China is outdated in pretty much anything.

http://www.neowin.net/news/bal...windows-in-china-is-pirated

While browser choice plays a part, IE6, as shown in the countdown chart, still has a high percentage in China. Couple that with piracy, and you'll realize that these users cannnot update IE to the latest version for their OS. It's obvious they don't care just as long as it works.

Bottom line: It has a lot to do with piracy and being careless.

I used IE back in 2003, despite numerous attempts at people to get me to switch to firefox (Which may have been still phoenix or firebird back then, I can't remember). I remember hating Firefox at the time and refused to switch until I encountered an issue with IE6 that caused it to crash on a certain site. I HAD to use firefox to view this site (I don't even remember what site it was) and I'm glad it did, because it forced me to use the browser and see just how good it was (or rather, how bad IE6 was). I think middle clicking to open a new tab was what changed everything.

I still use firefox to this day, but I have to admit it's only for a few little extensions that I still do - I'm getting more and more tempted to switch to Chrome.

I think if they remove the favicon from the address bar, it might be the last straw.

Neobond said,
Used IE up till Firefox 3 came out

Agreed. At first I found Firefox very ugly, then a friend forced it into me and I started liking it.

Jose_49 said,

Agreed. At first I found Firefox very ugly, then a friend forced it into me and I started liking it.

I had known about it thanks to Maximum PC including it on their CDs. It was crappy before it hit 1.0, but once it did I was impressed at how quick and lightweight it felt. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case these days.