Bill Reid | Director of Software & Development, Leap Systems
When I first started doing web development, and I may be dating myself here, there was only one real browser being used, Netscape Navigator. It was a very simplistic browser compared to the ones we have today. It rendered Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to show text and images on a static page. A static page means that it is exactly the same each time you look at it. A short while later, Microsoft created Internet Explorer (IE) and integrated it into the Windows operating system. With IE, developers could create more dynamic pages using ActiveX.
It didn’t take long for enterprises to take advantage of IE with ActiveX to transform their internal software systems. Instead of employees having to install applications on their desktops to access internal systems, companies created an intranet to run web applications for these systems. These applications were written specifically for IE which, at the time, was not an issue since IE was shipped with Windows and was the default browser.
Internet Explorer dominated the browser usage market for a long time. There were other browsers during this time such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Apple’s Safari, but these browsers were mostly used by tech-savvy individuals or Mac users. But in 2008 Google released its Chrome browser. It was fast, really fast, and it also supported most of the HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) standards which IE did not. In addition to that, it could update itself to the latest version from Google at any time. This was in contrast to IE updates which only came out with a Windows update. This was a major win for the web development community and websites started changing as a result.
Fast forward to today and the modern browsers used by the majority of people include Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and Opera. You may have noticed that I did not include IE in this list. That’s because IE is no longer considered a browser, but a compatibility solution as stated by Microsoft’s security chief. In short, IE does not meet new web standards and therefore is not used by developers when testing browser support for their websites. While it may be the tool used for accessing internal websites, it should not be used for your day-to-day internet web browsing.
When it comes to accessing the Leap online application, we no longer support Internet Explorer. We use web technologies that are supported by modern browsers and will not function when using IE. So, if you have IE set as your default browser, you should really consider changing it to one of the modern browser alternatives. I promise this will make your website browsing experience much safer and less frustrating, especially when you’re accessing Leap.