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Microsoft talks about Internet Explorer rebranding debates, hints at UserVoice feedback

internet explorer

The Internet Explorer team at Microsoft held a "Ask Me Anything" chat on Reddit earlier today, and revealed that the company did have a debate at one point on rebranding the web browser.

In fact one of the first questions from the Reddit community to the IE team was if they had considered renaming or rebranding IE. At first, the question got a humorous answer: "We briefly considered Ultron, but the lawyers said no." Later the chat got a more serious response.

"It's been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today."

Obviously, Microsoft decided to stick with IE as the name of the browser, and in fact has made fun of the fact that earlier versions of the software were not well loved by the public.

Another Reddit member also asked if the IE team would use UserVoice as a way to obtain feedback from the public for future versions of the browser. The answer? "Good news coming! Stay tuned." That would seem to confirm that Microsoft will be adding IE to its list of software and services that access the UserVoice service, such as Xbox Music, the Xbox console, and soon the Lumia app beta labs. What do you think of Microsoft's efforts to improve Internet Explorer?

Source: Reddit

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Reader comments

Microsoft talks about Internet Explorer rebranding debates, hints at UserVoice feedback

140 Comments

I just don't see it happening when IE controls almost 60% market share of desktop web browsers. IE desktop market share has risen over the last 2 years, most likely they will continue doing what they're doing with IE on Windows.

 

What they might need to think about is their approach to IE mobile and how best to bring it to other platforms. Perhaps putting IE on Android/iOS inside of a "Cortana" app would be the smartest way to go about getting other platforms to use IE. Instead of downloading IE for iPhone or Android you would download Cortana and the searches would open up results inside of the app using IE rendering. Essentially merge Cortana/Bing.com/IE into one app, but market the app as Cortana for iPhone/Android. 

Yeah, I don't really support putting Cortana on another platform. It's one thing that WP offers that is unique and attractive. I finally got my parents to give WP a chance and Cortana played a huge part in it. My mom especially adores her. I'd like them to grow IE but not by giving away one of WP's crown jewels.

It has been confirmed, yes, but from my understanding not for a good while yet. I probably wouldn't mind of they put it on another platform as long as by the time it happens Cortana has been established as a WP perk first and foremost.

Trojan Horse strategy, I like it! Just like how so many iPhone users unknowingly use Bing (and like it) thanks to Siri. :)

Too confusing.  That reminds me of their "live" email service and their "windows live mail" email client.  Super confusing naming convention.  Try explaining to a non techie the difference between "live email" and "windows live mail".  

Then again "Internet Explorer" and "Windows Explorer" trips people up too.  

Microsoft could benefit from a long discussion on all their naming conventions company wide.

The only problem is that on iOS, you can't truly have a 3rd party browser. All of those other browsers that you see are actually using a slightly slower version of Safari to render the pages. The furthest that they can do is try to appear as IE for iOS, but in reality WebKit will be doing the true work.

They technically could port IE to Android, but I'm not sure if it would be worth the significant effort involved. Writing a rendering engine is no trivial feat, and they'd have to do it almost from scratch here.

But isn't that also the case with Windows Phone? All the alternative browsers still are built on the same core as IE

Your perception of IE's "control" of the market share is extremely flawed. It reflects much more the average user's "ignorance" than its choice.

The same could be said for a good chunk of people on Chrome. Pretty much every bit of freeware, especially antivirus software, I've installed for the past two years has tried to automatically install Chrome and set it as my default browser. I have friends all the time asking me why their home page changed because they don't realize a new browser has been installed

4 tiles, That's an intelligent response. Damn good for you. Don't know if its the best idea, I could see me squashing Bing in there as Cortana's (wish we could assign keys like the apostrophe) method of search as it is now and that's it.

Great to see that they are going to UserVoice, I just hope that there aren't going to be people that start biasing there or keep asking to ditch Trident for Webkit. Guess that's whay we'll have to take...

I guess we'll have a few of those, but they just need to ensure they consolidate them into one and then reply why they won't be doing it.

User Voice will be great for IE. They have their current Connect bug reporting and feature suggestion platform but it's really clunky.

They should have done this back when windows 7 was in alpha. I applaud their efforts to make IE a consumer-friendly browser again. I'm surprised that they didn't take the opportunity to have a powerless business browser and powerful consumer browser when they released the desktop and metro browsers with windows 8. And when I say "powerful" I mean "customizable"...ie real extensions and add-ons.

Call it: OneNet like OneNote and OneDrive. And from a WP standpoint, whatever they call it, LET ME HAVE a HOMEPAGE on Windows Phone.

Or they could just add the option. Takes what, five minutes?

I have tried pinning sites before and I don't really care for the square screenshot of the site on my start screen. I'm sure there's an app that would let me use a custom icon for a pinned site, but I shouldn't have to jump through hoops for a function that has been in all browsers for as long as I can remember.

I really don't see how pinning a tile that takes you exactly where you want to go is jumping through hoops just because you don't like the way the tile looks. But as is always true, you can't please everyone.

Personally, I prefer that IE goes to where I left it. But maybe you'll get your option one day. IE desktop already has it.  Good luck to you.

I prefer it going where I left off as well, but it would also be nice to have the option to set a homepage for when it is first opened, like if I closed all the tabs. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but it also seems like a no-duh moment when they leave out an option that every other browser in the world has. They added Private Browsing, who the hell needs that? ;) Options are always good.

It's jumping through hoops if you have to use another app to change the look of the ugly tile. Looks obviously play a pretty big role or what is the point of them adding transparent tiles, custom wallpapers and nice looking animations? I have my screen set up with almost all transparent tiles and I like it that way. If an app has an ugly icon, it gets thrown in a folder where I don't have to see it until I use it. Some people prefer the old way of having a jumbled mess of random colors on the start screen and there should be an option to choose which way you want to have that as well.

I *really* want the ability for a homepage on WP and a way to prevent Metro IE from remembering my last visited website at all times.

No, I do not want to have three tabs from email links that I accidentally clicked on because I forgot that Metro links open in Metro IE. (Also, why do all Metro links open in Metro IE if I can't even manually open Metro IE? What the hell?)

And I do not want to be forced to manually close all tabs each time I close the browser.

I don't think it would've been worth it. IE still controls the majority of the market. Why take away that brand recognition (most users don't have a negative perception of IE; most people don't even know what a web browser is) and start from scratch?

As someone who has previously worked for tech support, I have to disagree with you. Plenty of people don't understand this concept. For them, the blue "e" means internet. And even if they do they change their browsers, they don't really know why. It's usually because someone else told them to use the new browser so they did.

Because IE is the only browser pre-installed on their PCs, so the older crowd and people who seriously know nothing about tech won't install another browser (as they don't know how and don't know the difference) and yes, some just know to use the internet, you press the blue "e".

When I was an elementary school teacher, I would say ?Class, how do you get to the internet?" They would yell"CLICK TWO TIMES FAST ON THE BLUE "EEEEEEEEEEEEE"!!!!!!"

Classic!

Hahaha, unfortunately (or fortunately for me that is still true to do this day, windows 8 has given me something I never thought it would - something to kill the boredom from being out of regular work by teaching incredibly basic IT lol.)

Well Microsoft has a history of rebranding and making their products worse.. Zune and at one point between windows mobile and windows phone. So idk, maybe stick to the name and keep improving. IE has been getting better by the update so just let people try it and figure out for themselves that the new IE is good and doesn't need a name change.

Easier said than done. That's just like telling people Microsoft as a whole has gotten better and is worth a try.

Doesn't matter what they do: Public perception is that Microsoft sucks. Because everyone has decided everything Microsoft sucks, that refuse to try it.

Just like trying to mention the computer that starts with an "M" on this site. Won't go over well.

If you are referring to Macs, you are right. Go to that Mac to Xbox One article, and see all those people who replied to me and Mark, lol.

Well Zune had a bad rep too. It is behind competitors, yes, but I feel Xbox music is already doing well. If it was still called Zune, all iTunes users would still laugh at us, and people would say "Oh, you use Zune"? Xbox Music has a better name, imo.

How do you mean XBM is being ignored on UserVoice? Sure, they aren't that active right now, but they have other priorities and already told us that this is going to change as soon as their initial list of stuff-that-needs-to-be-done is finished... which is next week.

They ignore Xbox video more.

Both of their uservoice stuff say they would look into it, but they said that in 2013, and still nothing. Wtf...

Idk internet explorer is a staple for Windows that's like re rebranding Windows...i just don't know...maybe if they made a browser that no one could complain about it would bring integrity back to the internet explorer name

The issue is that people complain out of ignorance. I have people at work complain about IE when they don't even use it. When I challenge them none of their complaints stand up to reason or facts, except for one: no extensions.

That's what they're already doing. They are already better at following the standards than the competition, and IE is faster than the others too.

They will if things work, and right now some things don't (that do on other browsers).  I agree it has come a long way but catching up isn't good enough, surpassing and leading is.

Which they actually have for the most part (extensions being one of the few areas they haven't). It's just that some sites still treat IE differently, whereas they should treat it like Chrome and Firefox. These websites are the ones that don't work; if the devs treated Chrome and Firefox the same way they treat IE then the same issues would be present. This part isn't Microsoft's fault.

They have IE11 is actually pretty good. As a developer myself I'm actually impressed. The real crime is that they will continue to support IE7 - IE10 for a lot longer.

Maybe they should rebrand their PR and Marketing team too.
They fucked the Zune, IE (I always get asked if IE is still safe after the zero day patch despite all other browsers having the same vulnerability), Xbox One.
ah Microsoft. You have such great ideas. But awful executions.

Internet Explorer has always been kind of clunky, resource hog, locking up, etc. but as of late starting with IE9 its gotten a lot better. I actually prefer IE11 to Chrome and Firefox. A lot sites that I go to just work better with IE11. The only time I use Chrome now is to rip a youtube video via plugin and I don't even have firefox installed. I'm really happy with IE11 now.

The desktop browser is awesome now. The wp version could be improved though.

Adding tracking protection lists (hello ad blocking) to ie mobile would be a really cool thing they should definitely do. And make it synced with the desktop.

Also improving the loading time when going back. I'm sure the previous page should be kept in memory and shouldn't have to reload.

The difference between IE and something like Chrome, is that Chrome is a toolbox, while IE is only a single tool in the Windows toolbox.

chrome is designed to be all encompassing to keep you in the browser, while IE is simply a browser, it has no need to keep you in its environment because you are already in Windows.

Leave IE the way it is! I love it, better than buggy chrome, but only thing needed is a little more advertising. Advertise IE and its benefits over chrome and Firefox.

:(
I like IEs name. When I will finally get a new PC I'm gonna use IE and ditch FF that only gets worse with each update ...

In all honesty I don't mind not having a lot of add-ons as they have the potential to be a huge security liability and IE doesn't need more bad press. It has ad block and I'm cool with that. If I really need to save a YouTube video I might pop over info Firefox but otherwise I don't think it's a big deal.

I don't know. A lot of my friends are sticking to Firefox because of the add-ons although they do acknowledge that IE got way better

For me, IE Metro already got the new layout they are looking for. Just kill the old IE desktop version, resize the IE metro address bar (is too big) and put it on the top of the app, not in the bottom, and its done.

IE needs a rebranding! They should name it Bing! That would be very good with cortana integration and bing finance, bing maps, bing news, etc....

 

I don't think they should rename because it's such a well known name. I do think they should do a lot to show people it's not the same old IE. Maybe some smoked by IE videos like the old smoked by windows phone videos. The phone could even make an appearance thanks to tabs being viable across all your windows 8.1 devices.
Definatly show IE in stop rather than desktop. Show how share charm can share cat videos quicker, show how you can snap two browsers together effortlessly and how they scale the size of the content they display. When I show people this they have a hard time accepting IE and Windows 8.1 can actually be this awesome.

Like reinstating background audio streaming from IE11 for WP... dumbasses removed it... sure you get some great upgrades with IE11 over IE10 but why remove such a great feature? They're dumb as shit.

I don't (in general) have a problem with IE. I hope UserVoice helps them even more. I wish there were a team to fix the now terrible Xbox Games app on WP 8/8.1.

Who cares about browsers? Really?

I do, but I've worked and promoted Opera for six years. Didn't meet a single sole outside "work in the widest sense" who actually cared though. Sure there were people chaning from IE to Opera, Firefox and Chrome or Flock and Camino. Ask them why and they say it looks better or is faster or my son told me to and I didn't want to be an old fart. People change, but they don't care.

I think the IE on Windows Phone 8.1 is better than any Safari version I've tried on iOS or any one on Android (chrome, Opera Mini, firefox, default what ever).

The only browser I would have loved on WP 8.1 is Kite (currently on iOS only).

I'm not saying I like IE, but it works on every site I visit. That's enough for a phone browser.

Changing the name and brand of internet explorer wont change anything if the performance and quality is constant. Btw can sombody explain the uservoice in xbox music and ie which i didnt understand there? And if the internet explorer is changed, would there be an update to windows phone with changing ie and others?! I love Microsoft when they work hard on their software and their devices .

Microsoft desperately needs to improve the add-on security in IE. I'm a computer technician and I've seen what makes IE suck nowadays. You download a toolbar or accidentally install a toolbar when installing other programs, and IE slows right down. Most users I've seen don't disable the add-ons and those who do usually have difficulty disabling the lot (such as those ran without permission)

How about better VPN support for Windows phone? I have VPN at home, works for the computer, there's a compatibility app for shitdroid, but my VPN doesn't support Windows phone. Too bad.

The only thing I don't like is the user agent change I've been getting frequent crashes and errors since update 1 I'm on windows phone to clarify

IE has issues with Tumblr though. And I'd like to see faster loading of YouTube. IE is good but both on desktop and mobile some sites don't load as I'd like.

What is to get, "Ultron" is like Megatron or something from Transformers, but nevermind, Ultron is actually a Marvel character from Iron Man. :)

it's a shame that hating ms is cool these days. internet explorer isn't even ask that bad anymore. if it had adblock, i might even consist using it as my primary browser.

Somewhat off topic: Some of you seem reasonably competent. Wouldn't it be nice to have your phone, if you choose to do so via toggle, rotate to landscape mode just like tablets. I hate flipping back and forth.

It doesn't matter what they call it. I still use Chrome on my Windows desktop, because it feels faster. So I just did a test and opened a Wikipedia article in both browsers. They both took roughly the same time to load the page, except Chrome didn't display the new page until it was ready, while IE displayed a blank page until it was ready. Staring at a blank screen, even for 2 seconds is not good.

Other problems include browser tabs being inline with the address bar. While that saves vertical space, it limits the amount of readable tabs that I can have open.