Internet Explorer’s run finally comes to an end
Microsoft will no longer support Internet Explorer, the once-dominant browser that legions of web surfers despised.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Internet Explorer is finally being retired.
Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that legions of web surfers loved to hate — and a few still claim to adore — as of Wednesday. The 27-year-old application is now in the same category as BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems, and Palm Pilots.
The demise of Internet Explorer was not unexpected. Microsoft announced a year ago that it would phase out Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, instead directing users to its Edge browser, which debuted in 2015.
The company stated unequivocally that it was time to move on.
In a May 2021 blog post, Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote, “Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it can also address a critical issue: compatibility with older, legacy websites and applications.”
On Twitter, users mourned Explorer’s demise, with some referring to it as a “bug-ridden, insecure POS” or the “top browser for installing other browsers.” Others saw it as an opportunity to post 90′s nostalgia memes, while The Wall Street Journal quoted a 22-year-old who was disappointed to see IE go.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, during the antediluvian era of web surfing dominated by Netscape Navigator, the first widely popular browser. Its release signaled the end of Navigator: Microsoft went on to integrate IE and its ubiquitous Windows operating system so tightly that many people simply used it by default instead of Navigator.
In 1997, the Justice Department sued Microsoft, alleging that it violated an earlier consent decree by requiring computer manufacturers to use its browser as a condition of using Windows. In 2002, it agreed to settle the antitrust suit over its use of its Windows monopoly to crush competitors. It also clashed with European regulators, who claimed that linking Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair advantage over competitors like Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera, and Google’s Chrome.
Meanwhile, users complained that Internet Explorer was slow, prone to crashes, and vulnerable to hacks. IE’s market share, which was over 90% in the early 2000s, began to dwindle as users discovered more appealing alternatives.
According to internet analytics firm Statcounter, the Chrome browser now has roughly a 65 percent share of the global browser market, followed by Apple’s Safari with 19 percent. Edge, IE’s heir, trails with about 4%, just ahead of Firefox.