Throwing Google Away: One month with Internet Explorer and Bing

Feb Challenge

Many of Microsoft’s services are very compatible to their Google counterparts. There are many people who have proudly switched away from Google services in favor of something from Microsoft. One product, however, continues to be ridiculed and cast to the wayside. Just saying its name makes teenagers tremble at the thought of helping their parents with PC problems.

IE scary

Even among die-hard Microsoft fans Internet Explorer seems to be the red-headed step child. People always say “Internet Explorer actually isn’t that bad,” and then they run back to Chrome. I am guilty of this too. I’ve written many times about how IE has come a long way, but I have written those things in a Chrome browser. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is. Welcome to my nightmare.

The What

For the month of February I am challenging myself to use only Internet Explorer for browsing the web and Bing for searching. I will be attempting this on every single device I own: PC, tablet, and phone. At the end of the month, assuming I survive, I will write an editorial about my experiences. Ultimately I will decide whether or not it is possible for me to continue using IE and Bing.


The Who

Ever since I first owned a PC I have used either Firefox, Safari (what a crazy time that was), or Chrome as my web browser.  I can never remember a time when I didn’t use Google as my search engine. I use Gmail, Google Docs, SkyDrive, and OneNote for other various tasks. In the last few years I have become very invested in Chrome with dozens of apps and extensions. That is where my biggest challenge lies.

The Why

I feel like for the most part it’s easy to switch to most of Microsoft’s services. It’s not too difficult to go from Gmail to Outlook, but switching from Chrome to Internet Explorer is entirely different. Microsoft and Google have the same basic vision for things like email and cloud storage, but they could not be more different in how they approach web browsers. In just the three days I’ve been using IE I’ve had to rethink a lot of the things I used to do in Chrome. I think this challenge will be very interesting.

The You

Do you use Internet Explorer? Why not? Do you think you could? Do you think I will succeed? Is there anything you would like to know from my experience? Let me know all of your thoughts below!

  • Stebe

    IE 11 is really fast, what maybe cause you trouble is that you like to use extensions and that is a very limited feature in Internet Explorer. For all the other things you should be fine.

  • HoppITUp

    I use IE only on all of my home machines and my WP. I have no reason to use another browser. For some reason when I try to use FF or Chrome, I find them clunky. I mostly use Bing for search unless I am not finding something or want to compare maps/directions between Bing and google. My preference is Bing. The office default is google but I switch my own machine over to Bing.
    In our office all machines are locked down to IE. The settings that I need to lock downl via group policy are only available to IE. The enterprise VPN just works better with IE as it is much easier to use active X than it is to rely on Java. Everytime there is a java update it breaks the VPN.

  • Qwopi tech

    I too enjoy IE 11 very much, and I am a teenager. I use IE 11, Bing, Outlook, Skydrive(soon to be Onedrive), and office/office web apps. I have a WP a windows computer and an Xbox one. I find that through trials I have tried going to Google products as a test and found myself just not enjoying them, they feel clunky, slower, and I honestly just think they are slower. I think the only reason teens and others don’t switch to Microsoft Products is the Brand names. And they don’t want to be ridiculed by their peers because they use internet explorer or bing.

  • Qwopi tech

    I can tell you right now one of the problems for all of Microsoft’s Products is the reps at all of the Stores. I see way too many times where someone really wants a Microsoft Product such as a Windows Phone and they are turned away from it by the Reps at the store, its saddening to me to see so much interest in the Product then for them to come back and say they were being lead into buying an Apple or Android Product.

  • Kevin

    I really like IE especially on my hybrid computer, especially when I’m in tablet mode. I do agree that IE is really lacking when it comes to plug-ins though. I also occasionally still pop into Chrome when a website is unable to render properly on IE. Other than that, IE is definitely my primary browser of choice and it works great

  • Bob

    If you find a way to get any version of IE to reliably recover tab sessions let us know. I switched to IE since Win8, now on 8.1 and this still irks me. Also I had weird crashing with IE10 and since then try not to open up too much stuff. But I can’t stop using IE because it automatically logs me in to Microsoft account sites and its too convenient haha

  • Billscarnage

    Browser wars! Always a fun and exciting topic ;-)
    99% of the population has no idea what goes on behind the scenes with browsers and their engines. Then add in web developer frustration (mostly w/ IE) developing for the different browsers and the sparks can really fly.
    Unfortunately, this might get worse before it gets better now that Google has split off from webkit (Apple/Google).
    I only support the big 4 – IE, FF, Safari and Chrome – but personally prefer FF as they have don’t have a significant financial stake with browser/personal data.

  • Billscarnage

    Oh, as for search… Google and Bing are so close anymore that I don’t think it really matters, but I do use bing mostly.

  • As a 17 year old who’s still studying, IE is the best option for me. Not only because it’s the only browser that don’t suck up all my 2 gigs of RAM on my Windows 8.1 notebook, but because it’s smooth. It’s simple, straightforward, and fast. Also, I was tired of Chrome and Firefox; I couldn’t get used to Safari and Opera simply didn’t open certain websites that I use.
    So, as my experience with IE hasn’t been bad with my Windows Phone, I decided to take a leap and use IE. So far, so good. People seem to think I’ve gone crazy – since I Always was the “tech guy”. But I have met the same situation when I made the jump from Android to WP.
    Also, Bing has turned to be my default search engine by now.

  • armatus

    i tried IE 11 for a few days, but i missed some core features i had added to firefox. mail notification, youtube customisation ( auto hd for example) and when i had to activate a whole bar to get lastpass to work i stopped the experiment. it has potential, but without really useful, unintrusive addons i cant use it.

  • silverdogz

    Been using Chrome on my old MacBook Pro. Then I got the surface, IE11 all the way, w/ Bing!

  • Daniel Padia

    IE has auto HD, it’s called a youtube feature. The fact that you let a company have access to all of your passwords is absolutely insane!!! That right there makes me skeptical of the worth behind your opinion. Not saying you’re a bad person or a monster or an idiot, I just don’t trust password organizers. Too easy to hack, too easy to lose all your passwords, etc. Don’t be surprised when all your information gets hacked…

  • I guess I need to update to 11. My updated 7 will not run some videos and other interactive. Why?

  • esail

    that sound just like me, except that I have used IE since IE6.

  • Anant Malik

    IE 11 is fast & its an understatement.

  • Anant Malik

    Same here. I actually find IE 11 smoothest of them all.

  • Anant Malik

    I use IE 11 with adblock plus to browse the net because its in fact faster & smoother than others. However, I use chrome to download videos from youtube.

  • Anant Malik

    I support IE 11, Chrome, Firefox & Opera in that order.

  • Anant Malik

    I use IE 11 on Windows 7 SP1 & it recovers tab sessions reliably in case it encounters crashes, if any.

  • that_guy

    The only thing holding me to Chrome is an extension that saves my session. I normally have alot of tabs open and I like to save them for later. You can restore session on IE11 but it’s not the same. Plus I find my self using IE11 sometimes cause chrome freezes up. But I like IE11, MS just needs a better session manager. I think the Metro version works a little better than the desktop version. Is it just me?

  • KontryBoy706

    I definitely am liking internet explorer I’ve switched from Chrome. The only thing I hate is I can’t figure out how to make Youtube vids always play in HD. Of course on Chrome and Firefox there extensions you can install to make this happen