HomeTech NewsMicrosoft announces retirement of Internet Explorer to end 25-year era

Microsoft announces retirement of Internet Explorer to end 25-year era

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Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser, will be retired in 2022 according to the roadmap announced by Microsoft, ending a golden era that has lasted more than 25 years.

Internet Explorer today is an absolutely unnecessary in world technology: Slow; incompatible with standards; insecure by default and without the capabilities of the Edge Chromium which is Microsoft’s benchmark in web browsing, the software giant has long sought to drop the ballast and complete elimination of Internet Explorer.

In fact, it has been advising against its use in favor of Edge and other modern browsers and has even ensured that Internet Explorer «not a browser” otherwise “a compatibility solution». Furthermore, Microsoft’s head of cybersecurity stressed that it should not be used in daily work in an article published on the official Microsoft blog that said it all: “The dangers of using Internet Explorer as your default browser”.

If Microsoft has maintained it until now, it has only been for compatibility in companies and the need to support previous standards for web access and application operation. Once the deployment of Edge Chromium is completed (the best browser in Microsoft’s history, at the height of performance, compatibility, security and features of any other modern browser) there is no point in maintaining Internet Explorer.

Microsoft already advanced last year the end of support for the original Edge and also for Internet Explorer, starting by withdrawing its support in services such as Teams video conferencing. Now, the roadmap contemplates the official announcement to retire the desktop application of Internet Explorer 11, the support for the browser in the Microsoft 365 suite and other applications on August 17, 2021 and the effective removal of the browser on June 15, 2022 on the regular versions of Windows 10. Internet Explorer will remain in some other enterprise versions, but its impact will already be minimal.

Microsoft announces retirement of Internet Explorer to end a 25-year era 29

Recall that Microsoft proposed a function for Internet Explorer that detects when a page is incompatible with its technologies, checks if Microsoft Edge is installed on the system and opens the page there, notifying the user of the problem and closing Internet Explorer.

In addition, Edge has a IE mode that allows to use a second motor (MSHTML) specifically targeted to run those applications that have not yet been migrated to other modern browsers. It runs in an Edge tab without the need for any other software and of course without having to use the outdated Internet Explorer. Microsoft has guaranteed its support until 2029 to reinforce its use in companies, as our colleagues at MCPRO remind us.

Internet Explorer, another era ends

Internet Explorer hit the market 25 years ago as part of the “plus” package released for Windows 95 and based on the Spyglass Mosaic code. It was a time of quasi-absolute dominance of Netscape Navigator, the first commercial browser, but this release and the subsequent “browser wars” changed everything.

Microsoft didn’t have to work too hard to popularize its browser. It didn’t matter if it was better or worse than the competition, just with include it as part of your operating systems he managed to oust Netscape and consolidate a monopoly that lasted 20 years (no less).

Microsoft’s strategy was controversial and there were multiple lawsuits and before regulatory bodies under the argument of that illegal use of Windows quota, which ended up harming the rest of the competitors by not offering alternatives for use. Its default installation on Windows was the true supporter of IE, because Mozilla (later Mozilla Firefox), the open development that emerged from the release of Netscape, was a better browser than Internet Explorer during those two decades.

Nothing lasts forever. The obligation to include alternatives in Windows in some regions such as Europe (do you remember the browser selection screen imposed on Microsoft by the European Union?) Was the beginning of the end, although even without it Microsoft was already losing ground.

Finally, in 2016, the global web browsing market turned upside down when Google Chrome surpassed Internet Explorer in market share. Since then the decline has been steep and Microsoft lost its presence in this important market that opens the way to search engines and Internet advertising. In 2016 alone, IE lost 350 million users and subsequently were also surpassed in quota by Mozilla’s Firefox.

You know recent history: ‘Great evils, great remedies’. Microsoft opted for something unthinkable, to use the Chromium open source base of its rival Google in a new development to try to reverse the situation. Chrome still largely dominates the market, but at least the new Edge is a browser worthy of a company like Microsoft. Internet Explorer was long dead at the consumer level and now comes the announcement of a late, but expected end.

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