Why does Microsoft want me to use Internet Explorer?

On TV lately, I’ve been seeing adds for IE9 or whatever they’re up to now. Since it comes with the OS, why does MS advertise in order to get me to use it? I could see advertising Windows or Office since they have direct competitors but I can’t see how there’s any ROI if I use IE over Firefox or Chrome.

Why do they care?

Yes it comes with the operating system, but with IE being the third most popular browser now, people are downloading Firefox and Chrome and using them instead.

While I don’t know the specific harm it’s doing to Microsoft when someone uses Chrome/Firefox/something else, I imagine they want to keep attention on themselves instead of competition. If Mozilla and Google get attention from everyone else using Firefox and Chrome, it can lead to people paying money for their other products or services instead of for Microsoft equivalents.

Agreed. Here’s a somewhat related anecdote…
I once tried to return a shirt to an upscale retail store but when I pulled out thr reciept I realized I had about it elsewhere. I appologized and said I woud return it to the correct store. The clerk insisted on giving me a full cash refund and explained that she would do whatever it took to keep me in her store and out of the competitors and if that meant covering the cost of a shirt she would gladly do it.

Microsoft is really doing the same thing - keeping you a Microsoft customer and out of the other guys shops.


Browsers are seen as the gateway to the internet, and the company that owns the browser has more control over your experience. One simple example is that IE defaults to Bing as the search engine, and the more eyeballs on Bing the more advertising revenue. IE also has certain proprietary features that are not in HTML standards and not supported by most other browsers but can provide a more enhanced surfing experience.

It’s all about getting eyeballs.

That is an awesome story … not just for the aptness to the story, but for the incredibly honest depiction of retail sales. Seriously, you really hear it so plainly.

There is a rhyme and reason to Microsoft wanting your browser experience to be in Internet Explorer - it comes down to money.

When you use Internet Explorer, guess what your default search engine is? Microsoft’s Bing. By using Bing, you get to see Bing’s ads,. Microsoft likes that because they get additional ad revenue. Their overall search percentage goes up, so merchants are more likely to use the Microsoft Merchant Center (whose results are displayed on Bing), and generally Microsoft gets to be a bigger player.

IE is also optimized for other “paid” web-based products like SharePoint and Office365. If IE is widely used by the public in their private lives, it’s one less barrier in convincing corporate executives that using IE in conjunction with Microsoft’s paid web-based technologies is a good idea.

When using IE, Microsoft also pre-installs some Microsoft-Centric bookmarks that point you to Microsoft-owned sites.

See? It’s nothing sinister, it’s just that Microsoft wants your eyeballs.

Wow, a charter member with only 370 posts. That’s awesome!

EDIT: As opposed to the ninja Vinyl Turnip, with a join date two years later.

It worked too - I’ve been a customer ever sice.

That works out to 2.5 posts per month, and I just used two on this thread!

One more and I’ll be over my quota. You may not be hearing from me again until August.

Actually they intended to monopolize the browser market. They insisted they had valid reasons for making it difficult for other browsers to work on Windows, got a wrist slap from the courts, and ever since they’ve been trying to justify their initial phony claims.

Bill Gates wants to own your soul. And, as mentioned here, using his browser you must lay your eyes upon his product. Furthermore, as the poets say, “the eyes are the window into the soul.” So gaze upon IE and old Bill Gates is looking right back at ya, peering into your mind and figuring out how to make even more money off you.

See - wasn’t that easy? :smiley:

I use Chrome almost exclusively. I only turn to Firefox when I need to see Unicode characters that Chrome doesn’t support.

Every so often, malware installed by Mi¢ro$oft tries to reset my Chrome home page to msn.com. Less frequently, but just as persistently, they try to reset my default search engine to Bing. I don’t know what they put on my machine to make that happen, but I’m betting it would be difficult to remove.

I have used IE since my first computer and have never experience any of this. If they did try, it took me just a few clicks to put things the way I want them. I have to use Firefox and Chrome at work, they just don’t do it for me.

Back during the browser wars, each browser would periodically add features for displaying data – all incompatible, of course. By coercing Windows users into using IE, Microsoft gave websites a big incentive to make everything look as good as possible in IE, with only a secondary effort to support other browsers. So things would look good in IE almost everywhere, but some websites would look like crap for folks using Netscape, f’rinstance. This was then used to lock users into using a Windows platform in order to ensure a good web-viewing experience.

I am pretty sure that Bing is currently losing money for Microsoft, though, as, of course, is IE. IE costs something to develop, but brings in no revenues at all; Bing brings in some advertising revenues, but not as much as it costs to maintain the search engine.

Neither IE nor Bing are really about profits now, they are about who will control the Web in the future.

Cite? I’ve followed the various MS legal whatnots at least passingly, and this doesn’t seem accurate. I don’t ever remember a version of Windows that couldn’t easily have other browsers installed (except the forthcoming Windows RT, which uses the “Apple’s does it and nobody’s suing THEM” defense).

The big fat antitrust lawsuit wasn’t about shutting out other browsers, it was about making IE being included with every copy of Windows 95 and being nonremovable. Opera and Netscape were still easily installed.

Really? This site says it is number 1 by quite a large margin.

This one says otherwise.

EDIT: Okay so second most, I was under the impression Firefox had a higher user base than it apparently does.