Microsoft officially retires Internet Explorer; banks on its newer browser as its edge against competitors
Microsoft announced in a blog post that after nearly 27 years, it is finally putting the iconic Internet Explorer (IE) to rest.
The announcement came a year after it first publicized its intention to phase out IE from its products.
In the said blog post, Microsoft stated that for the next several months, users who will click the IE icon will be redirected to Microsoft Edge, the company's newer and safer web browser, in "IE mode" – a secure, sandboxed version of the older browser within Edge made to allow users to access Internet Explorer-based websites and applications. Eventually, Microsoft plans on permanently disabling IE as part of a future Windows Update, wherein IE icons on users' devices will be removed.
Example message informing users they are being redirected to Microsoft Edge
As part of the redirection process, users will have their data, such as favorites, passwords and settings, imported from Internet Explorer to help make the transition to Microsoft Edge both familiar, seamless, and altogether simple. Managing or deleting data at any point can then be done in Microsoft Edge from the Settings menu.
"Internet Explorer's reputation today is, deservedly, one of a product from an older era—quirky in behavior and lacking the security of a modern browser. But its contributions to the evolution of the web have been remarkable, from helping to make the web truly interactive with DHTML and AJAX to hardware-accelerated graphics to innovations in touch/pen browsing," said Sean Lyndersay, General Manager, Microsoft Edge Enterprise.
"But the web has evolved and so have browsers. Incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn't match the general improvements to the web at large, so we started fresh," he continued.
Internet Explorer made its debut as Microsoft's first web browser in 1995, and it was truly a major breakthrough in digital innovations. It reached its peak in 2003 as it managed to control 95% of the browser market and became the most used browser for building apps to support businesses and connecting with people around the world. However, as proof that innovation is crucial when it comes to the internet, the platform that used to be everyone's favorite browser eventually became the most reviled as it failed to keep up with the changing times. With its bugs, slow page loading, and the launch of other browsing applications like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, it became a classic meme fodder and faced a slow death. Nevertheless, its legacy and contributions to the evolution of the web will be remembered.
Rest in peace, Internet Explorer. Thank you for your service.