On an "ask me anything" (AMA) thread on Reddit, Microsoft's Internet Explorer project manager Jonathan Sampson indicated that a rebranding of the browser was under discussion. Launched in 1995, the browser trails Chrome and Firefox in several regions, and a name change could potentially contribute to the fresh start needed to reconquer market share.
In response to a question on whether Microsoft had considered renaming its browser, Sampson wrote: "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...Who knows what the future holds?"
Microsoft has already succeeded in reviving a number of its longstanding services through feature improvements and interface changes, and sometimes also through rebranding, as was the case with Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) and Skype (which reprises features from MSN).
In Europe, Internet Explorer has seen its market share drop steadily over a period of years to reach 21.3 % in June 2014, far behind Chrome (31.6%) and only marginally ahead of Firefox (19.6%) and Safari (19.5%), according to AT Internet.
Figures from the US are hardly less dismal for Microsoft's browser. According to a report from Adobe released in June, Google's Chrome and Android browsers accounted for 31.8 % of visits to US-based websites during April 2014 (up from 26% the previous year) compared to 30.9 % for Internet Explorer (down from 37%).