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Another feather in Microsoft's cap

Internet Explorer 7.0 which was released in mid October 2006 has in less than 3 months reached the 100 million downloads mark, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 21:14 IST
Puneet Mehrotra
Puneet Mehrotra

Make way for Microsoft. Microsoft is at work and this time it's for real. Just a month ago I wrote about the change at Microsoft in my column titled "Microsoft Stepping into the Future" on how the soul of Microsoft is undergoing a transformation. More on that later but first about the latest milestone of Microsoft.

The latest success of Microsoft

A new milestone for Microsoft. Internet Explorer 7.0 which was released in mid October 2006 has in less than 3 months reached the 100 million downloads mark. If you think it's only about a browser then just read on.

The numbers mumbo jumbo

Statistics and other mumbo jumbo don't always make sense so let me help you make sense of this.100 million isn't a huge figure for a browser. But in a less than 3 month span 100 million is a very encouraging figure. If you compare it to competition read as Mozilla's Firefoxthen its earlier version took nearly a year after release to hit the 100 million milestone.

There are more figures. According to weblogs at Mozaillazine

Firefox 1.0: 1 million downloads in the first 24 hours.
Firefox 1.5: 1.5 million downloads in the first 24 hours
Firefox 2: 2 million (actually slightly more) people using Firefox 2 in the first 24 hours.

For Internet Explorer 7, in the first four days over three million downloads.

As on now 25 per centof visitors to US websites are using IE7. Firefox has around 14 per centshare in the US market. According to research website Hitslink as of now IE has a 79.64 per cent, Firefox is at 14.00 per cent, Safari is at 4 per centand rest with browsers such as Netscape and Opera.

Soaring hopes

This news is very good for Microsoft because this month end the new operating system Vista is releasing and the figures would certainly go up.

All in all Microsoft's strategy of desktop dominance gets a huge boost.

Microsoft before, now and after

As I wrote in my earlier column I have never really been a Microsoft fan. For me Google always meant enterprise and the benchmark for an organisation in the world of technology. Google also enabled me to make decent amounts of money through their advertising program, Adsense, when times were exactly as rosy as today. Besides Google's "intellectual" and "more open" image attracted me more towards it than Microsoft. Page won over Gates any day.

But all that was old. Things now seem very different in Microsoft. Maybe it's the Ballmer effect or maybe an overall change in strategy but this organisation is making news for all the right reasons.

Consider the last product from Microsoft Zune. I had written a sarcastic article about Microsoft's Zune - The IPod Killer. Finding a favorable review about Zune is probably as tough as searching for a needle in a haystack. IPOD is a definite winner in a war if there was supposedly any.

Looking at the bigger picture Zune may have bombed but Zune has proved something terrific happening at Microsoft and BusinessWorld put it rather well calling it "The soul of a new Microsoft" and how the new leaders are "looking beyond Windows".

Microsoft renewed

New package new ingredients

The point I am trying to make is Microsoft is on the move and the results we all can see. Microsoft under Ballmer has completely renovated its thought factory. No longer does one hear the gems about future vision as its founder used to make a decade or two ago. No longer is Microsoft just confined to Windows. It's looking way beyond Windows and for innovation and future profits sake even building bridges with erstwhile enemies like the Open Source Community.

Microsoft Vista is due for release. Will Vista elevate Microsoft to the next level? Where is the battle between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo headed?

I am optimistic about all the new Microsoft renewed. Its competitors have huge tasks coming up for them.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist atwww.cyberzest.comand editswww.thebusinessedition.comyou can email him

First Published: Jan 17, 2007 12:54 IST