Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Death of Internet Explorer

Microsoft is scheduling the release of Windows 10 later this year (2015). You can see what is coming in Windows 10 on the Microsoft Windows Insider Program. There is some online discussion about the fact that the new release of Windows 10 will be the end of the Internet Explorer browser. You might have noticed my comments recently about the website. That website clearly indicates that the Internet Explorer browser is on its way out. The latest version, IE 11.0 has only about 14.9% of the browser market with Google's Chrome and Android versions at about 38%.

The new Microsoft browser is reported to be code named Project Spartan. See "This is Spartan! But is it the end for Microsoft's Internet Explorer?" Here is a video on Project Spartan:

What does this mean to genealogists? I find that many in the genealogical community have only the vaguest understanding of the inner workings of the there computer's operating system and how it interacts with the online world. The browser is the program that enables your device (desktop computer to mobile device) to talk to the online world out there on the Internet. Computers and devices that use Microsoft Windows have traditionally come with Internet Explorer pre-installed, just as Apple devices have come with the Safari browser. The world of browsers got more complicated when Google introduced its Chrome browser and as you can see, Chrome has rapidly moved into an dominant position.

Genealogists are the proverbial hair on the end of the dog's tail when it comes to computers. We move with every wag and shake of the computer market but have no leverage or input because of our diffuse and relatively small consumer base. If all the genealogists in a community suddenly decided to buy new computers, it probably wouldn't be noticed even if they all bought one at the local Walmart.

But from the standpoint of the genealogists, these new movements in the market are particularly troublesome. As I have pointed out many times in the past, many older genealogists (and some younger ones) struggle with technology. A major shift in the way devices operate will only complicate the issue. It will also mean that the developers of genealogy software will face yet another round of upgrades and attempts to implement the new features. Those computer users still running Windows Vista and XP will fall another generation behind the current systems and we will ultimately have data migration issues.


  1. We have some sites here in Israel that only work on IE. The site for paying income tax advanxes, for instances, includes that in its instructions. Last I knew, the Greater Tel Aviv Burial Society did not work on my Firefox, so I open IE when I need it. I have no idea if this is the case in the US or other countries.

    1. We have several websites the only work with IE also, such as the Boy Scouts of America. I do wonder what will happen when they change browsers.