The Slow And Painful Death Of Internet Explorer:

By Pamela Glass | Wednesday, 22 June 2022 16:45
1.1K

Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that companies of web surfers enjoyed to hate — and still found reasons to adore. The 27-year-old application now joins BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of tech history.

IE’s death was not a shock. A year ago, Microsoft announced that it was ending Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, forcing users to its Edge browser, which was started in 2015.

The company made clear then it was time to move on.

“Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications,” Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote in a May 2021 blog post.

Users marked Explorer’s death on Twitter, with some referring to it as a “bug-ridden, insecure POS” or the “top browser for installing other browsers.” For others, it was a moment for 90′s nostalgia memes, while The Wall Street Journal quoted a 22-year-old who was unfortunate to see IE go.

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Microsoft built the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, the antediluvian era of web surfing dominated by the first widely popular browser, Netscape Navigator. Its launch signaled the start of the end of Navigator: Microsoft went on to tie IE and its ubiquitous Windows operating system together so tightly that many people merely used it by default rather than Navigator.

The Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1997, stating it broke an earlier consent decree by directing computer makers to use its browser as a condition of using Windows. It eventually decided to settle the antitrust battle in 2002 over its use of its Windows monopoly to squash competitors. It further tangled with European regulators who announced that tying Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair advantage over rivals like Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera and Google’s Chrome.

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Users, in the meantime, complained that IE was slow, prone to crashing and vulnerable to hacks. IE’s market share, which in the early 2000s was over 90%, started to fade as users found more appealing alternatives.

Today, the Chrome browser dominates with roughly a 65% share of the worldwide browser market, followed by Apple’s Safari with 19%, according to internet analytics company Statcounter. IE’s heir, Edge, lags with roughly 4%, just ahead of Firefox.

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Meanwhile, Microsoft explained on their website that Microsoft edge is about to be the new "basic" browser on windows 11: "Today, we are at the next stage of that journey: we are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge. Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications. Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (“IE mode”) built-in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge. With Microsoft Edge capable of assuming this responsibility and more, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10."

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"With Microsoft Edge, we provide a path to the web’s future while still respecting the web’s past. The change was necessary, but we didn’t want to leave reliable, still-functioning websites and applications behind. We’re here to help you transition to the more comprehensive browsing experience of Microsoft Edge and tell you a bit more about why we think it will address your needs, both at home and at work," they explained.

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