The Final Goodbye to Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, 26, of Microsoft, passed away on June 15th, 2022, from slow run-speed, poor security and the spite of developers worldwide. They were predeceased by Netscape Navigator, and they left behind Microsoft Edge. Service and burial announcements to come.

You heard it right folks – Microsoft officially waved goodbye to Internet Explorer, the 26-year-old internet browser. We may or may not have found Ben surrounded by confetti and a bottle of Dom Perignon at the office the morning of this announcement. 

Let’s Talk History 

Commonly called IE, the browser was popularly used in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, as the market share was consistently held over 90% utilization. Microsoft abandoned any innovation to IE after Windows XP was introduced in 2001. Eventually, this strategy came back to haunt Microsoft as other browsers started competing in the early 2000’s such as Firefox and Chrome. 

Microsoft simply never caught up. In fact, Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, is based on the Chromium technology, which is the open-code source for Google Chrome. Edge offers a feature called IE mode, which uses the Chromium engine for modern websites and the Trident MSHTML engine from IE11 for legacy sites, just built to work with Internet Explorer.

Regardless of the common dislike of the browser as the years went on, Internet Explorer refused to hang it up. Microsoft attempted somewhat of a rebrand by acknowledging the browser’s bad rap. In 2012, it launched a playful ad campaign rebranding Explorer as “the browser you loved to hate.” Which arguably, we think most people just felt the latter. 

So What Now? 

Although support for IE11 on Windows 10 ended on June 15th, Microsoft is not entirely abandoning ship, as the IE11 desktop client on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 will live on. 

For any developers out there, it is also important to note that IE search-mode in Microsoft Edge will still be supported until 2029 at minimum. So, you probably don’t want to uninstall IE yourself, as Edge will still be using that functionality when it runs into an antique website. Cue Ben cleaning up his confetti….

Microsoft has also announced that IE desktop applications will be progressively redirected to Microsoft Edge for now.

“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, GM of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, announced in a blog post. 

Web analytics site Statcounter shows that, by its death, IE usage had dropped to less than 1 percent of total browser market share. 

So while it may not be completely eliminated, the Internet Explorer as we once knew it has said its official goodbye to the world wide web. And all developers collectively took a deep sigh of relief.