In a crowded world of web browser competition Microsoft understands how important it is to standout. So the company has upped the ante through a new promotion they are announcing today called: Rethink IE.
The promotion includes an anchor web property that exhibits some of the really cool web sites, built on Microsoft's latest Internet Explorer version in hopes that consumers will agree that Internet Explorer is a completely revamped, reimagined offering. But, even more than just that, IE enables web apps. No longer just a tool to view static web content and perform searches, IE11 has been built for the modern world on the principle that the web is more than a series of linked articles and web sites, but the web, itself, is an app.
I recently had the pleasure to have a chat with Roger Capriotti, product marketing for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, about the new IE11 promotion and the reasons behind a renewed push for Microsoft's browser offering.
The Rethink IE campaign actually has its roots in the Norad Track Santa partnership over the 2013 holiday season. Microsoft, partnering with Norad, developed a web app and subsequent app for Windows 8 that proved to Christmas fans worldwide that IE11 can provide a very robust, interactive, web app experience.
While IE11 works as a desktop browser (released in 2013 for Windows 7) its true focus is for touch-enabled computers and devices, most notably for tablets. Per Roger, IE11 provides the best tablet experience and recent market share stats show that he may be right. IE's resurgence has pushed the Microsoft browser to heights it hasn’t seen since 2011. As 2013 ended, IE's market share sat at 58% of the browser market.
The industry is crowded with competition. When asked who the new IE promotion is intended to reach, Roger gave several examples.
First, Rethink IE is designed to reach those who haven't used IE in a while. It's for those who were frustrated by previous versions of IE. Roger believes that Microsoft's investments in IE development have allowed the company to build a first-rate, modern browser that is faster, more compatible, more secure, and far more stable than any other browser offerings from Google (Chrome), Firefox, and Apple (Safari).
Secondly, Roger indicates that the target audience for Rethink IE is for those moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows XP users have installed alternate browser in droves to ensure a rich web experience. As they migrate to a newer operating system (and newer hardware), they'll also now be able to take advantage of the advances in the web, and IE stands alone as that perfect solution.
And lastly, Rethink IE is perfect for those hybrid deployments. Some companies are using both Windows 7 and Windows 8 within their organizations. In a lot of cases, Windows 7 is being used as a desktop operating system while Windows 8 is being used side-by-side on tablets. Since IE11 is available for both operating systems, users can switch between their primary and secondary devices and have the exact same experience, including synching personalization, favorites, and personal settings.
Today, as part of the official promotion launch, Microsoft is showcasing several web apps built to take full advantage of the new IE.
The Rethink IE web site (http://www.rethinkie.com/) contains examples of what IE can do, exhibiting Red Bull Rampage, Everest: Rivers of Ice, Contre Jour, Atari Arcade, Hover, and Hunger Games. Each of these web apps demonstrates IE's rich set of functions, allowing sites built for IE to extend the computing world beyond the norm. The examples are highly interactive, entertaining, and enjoyable.
As most of you know, I was a die-hard Chrome fan until last year sometime. IE10 still had some issues on release, but as soon as IE11 was unveiled as part of Windows 8.1, I joyously removed any remnants of Chrome from all my systems. To see Microsoft finally invest heavily in bringing IE back to its glory days is exciting. Let's hope it stays that way.
Will the Rethink IE campaign increase Microsoft's already burgeoning browser market share? Time will tell. But, if you take the time to experience IE11 through the Rethink IE web site, I think you'll agree they deserve any additional market points they receive because of their forward-thinking and stellar offering.