Microsoft retires Internet Explorer and ends support

Microsoft Corp. President Bill Gates announces a new version of Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP and that Microsoft will include Windows AntiSpyware technology at no additional cost, during his keynote address at the RSA Conference 2005 in San Francisco on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The two new improvements will lead to safer web browsing according to Gates.

Kim Kulish | Historic Corbis | Getty Images

Microsoft stopped supporting the Internet Explorer web browser on Wednesday, indicating the end is near for a 26-year-old brand with a baggage that includes an antitrust case, security holes and lagging performance. Instead, users will be directed to Microsoft’s new Edge browser.

While Microsoft doesn’t derive revenue directly from browsers, Edge uses the company’s Bing search engine by default, through which the software and hardware maker generates advertising revenue. That category accounts for about 6% of Microsoft’s total revenue, at nearly $3 billion the first quarter.

Microsoft will not offer technical support or security updates to customers as it focuses more on Edge, a browser that it is available on mobile devices, Mac and even Linux, instead of just Windows. Microsoft released Edge as part of Windows 10 in 2015, to exist alongside Internet Explorer as something new and efficient but similar to what Windows users already knew.

However, Internet Explorer still has a small group of devotees, in part because it remains the only way to reach certain corporate Web applications. It will still not disappear, even if it has been retired.

“Over the coming months, the opening of Internet Explorer will progressively redirect users to our new modern browser, Microsoft Edge with IE mode,” wrote Sean Lyndersay, the company’s general manager, in a blog post. “Users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices (such as on the taskbar or in the Start Menu) but if they click to open Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge will instead open with easy access to IE mode. Eventually, Internet Explorer will be permanently disabled as part of a future Windows update, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on their devices will be removed.”

A “Reload in IE mode” button will appear in Edge’s toolbar, and the browser will ask people if they want to open a page in IE mode next time, Lyndersay wrote.

“Microsoft Edge will also check in with the user every 30 days to make sure they still need IE mode for the site,” he wrote. “As more and more sites are upgraded to modern standards, users will have to use IE mode less and the modern rendering engine more.”

Brief history of Internet Explorer

In 1995, the Web quickly became a top priority for Microsoft. Then-CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates stated in a memorandum that web developments “will set the course of our industry for a long time to come”. Microsoft provided Internet Explorer for free in the Windows 95 operating system. It quickly caught on.

Internet Explorer has taken a leading role in the browser market share thanks to its inclusion in Windows, the most used PC operating system in the world. The strategy helped Microsoft beat Netscape Communications’ then-emerging Navigator browser.

When the United States Department of Justice archived his historic antitrust case against Microsoft in 1998, the federal agency described the bundling of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 as an “illegal link”. The company changed the terms of its agreements with device manufacturers to allow them to remove browser icons from Windows if they want to show other browsers.

Other problems also harm Internet Explorer’s reputation. A security expert She said in 2004 that it was “silly” to use the browser. The Washington Post published a item under the heading “Internet Explorer unsafe for 284 days in 2006”. In 2014, following the disclosure of a leak, the US Department of Homeland Security She said that those who cannot follow Microsoft’s recommendations for mitigation should consider using another browser.

Internet Explorer has not always provided the best performance. The speed of Chrome in particular impressed observers when it appeared in 2008. It was expected. When Google came up with values ​​for Chrome, it chose three Ss: speed, stability, and security, said Aaron Boodman, Chrome’s former chief technology officer.

The performance difference with Internet Explorer is clear to this day. Its management of the widely used Html5 the markup language can’t keep up with Chrome, or Edge Apples Safari.

Digital preferences have changed over a quarter of a century. The smartphone has become a companion for billions of people, and in 2012 Google won the windward in the browser wars with Chrome.

In 2020, Microsoft released a new version of Edge which is based on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser, and came with Internet Explorer mode, allowing corporate workers to access websites designed for Internet Explorer in Edge. Last year, Microsoft recommended consumers to switch from Internet Explorer to Edge. Now the company is further reducing the presence of its original browser.

Now Microsoft wants to make sure people who still use Internet Explorer will switch to Edge, which has about 4% share, according to privately owned data StatCounter. The company will move bookmarks, passwords and settings from Internet Explorer to Edge, Lyndersay wrote. Edge is, she said, “the best browser for Windows.”

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Say goodbye to Internet Explorer