Periodically, the back office systems are upgraded at KitGuru. It gives us a chance to experience the world in the same way as a regular consumer. When we got to the browser, we had a bit of a shock.
In the early days, Netscape (Nutscrape to its detractors) was the king of the browsers. Microsoft was nowhere and hadn't really considered the kind of impact that the web would have. Early versions of explorer were weak.
When Internet Explorer 3 launched in 1996, with support for advanced technologies like CSS, the world started to change and by version 6 – which was embedded with Windows XP at launch – Microsoft owned almost 95% of the market.
So where did it all go wrong?
We're not going to delve into detail about the launch and rise of FireFox and Chrome or the impact that mobile browsers and the non-Flash Apple contigent is having on the market.
What we are going to say is that we have installed Internet Explorer 9 on a new system, tried to imagine that we are ‘normal people' and tried to set Google as the default search engine. It's an horrific experience.
In comparison, we downloaded and installed FireFox in seconds and, with a couple of clicks during the installation process – we were up and running with Google as the default engine.
Given that independent research shows that 70% of the people who open a browser, expect to search using Google – what perverse sense of humour pervades Microsoft HQ that they would want to completely and utterly bury the number one search engine down the bottom of a huge list of redundent options.
Here's the best that Microsoft can offer on page one.
Having been presented with a list that prioritises Tesco, XBox, DirectGov, Amazon, RightMove, CEOP and Expedia – did we wade through several pages of similar dross and go with Google?
We simply installed Chrome and FireFox.
Well done Microsoft marketing – never felt a strong urge to go with an alternative product. Thanks.
KitGuru says: Microsoft's trying to preserve market share by making it harder and harder for the majority of people to be able to use the tools they want to use. It's incredibly dumb. Apart from setting Microsoft's competitor as our default browser, we also wrote this article, discussing just how rubbish Internet Explorer 9 is. For good measure, we'll throw in a poll – just in case we're not alone.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forum.