Should you consider Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) for cross-browser testing?

Can anyone give me suggestions on whether one should consider Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) for cross-browser testing or not.

IE might not be the most preferred browser from a web-development & design point of view but there is still a significant percentage of users that makes use of IE. As per Desktop Browser Market Share Worldwide, IE as of July 2019 holds a 5% market share in the web browser market which is a good number considering the overall number of internet users worldwide.

There are a significant number of end-users, as well as enterprises that use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for browsing and performing other tasks on the web. In fact, there are many enterprises that push their testers to perform cross browser testing only on Internet Explorer(IE) for internal tasks. Hence, you might end up in situations where there are multiple ‘compatible’ browsers installed on your Mac machine but you need to test your product against Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. Browser compatibility testing is a core component in testing features of any web product/web application. Overlooking the same can lead to serious usability problems on the customer front.

You may argue about the reason for considering an outdated browser like IE for cross browser testing. To some extent, the argument is correct since the official support for IE was discontinued in the year 2015. There are no official updates or support for IE since that time. Though Microsoft Security Chief – Chris Jackson urged users to stop using IE three years back, there is still a significant user base that is still using IE as the default browser. In a blog titled The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser, Chris Jackson stated

Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution. We’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days. They’re testing on modern browsers. So, if we continued our previous approach, you would end up in a scenario where, by optimizing for the things you have, you end up not being able to use new apps as they come out. As new apps are coming out with greater frequency, what we want to help you do is avoid having to miss out on a progressively larger portion of the web!

So should you consider IE for browser compatibility testing?

Yes, you should. Although IE is being redundant slowly, it still holds a significant 5% of the overall browser market share for Desktops. Even if you are using macOS, you should make sure that you test IE on the mac so that there are no issues when users access your website/web application. Wondering on how you can test IE on mac?

Source: Selenium Automation Testing on Internet Explorer (IE) & Edge