Internet Explorer is finally heading out to graze.
Starting Wednesday, Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that legions of netizens loved to hate, and some still claim to love. The 27-year-old app now joins BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of technology history.
internet explorerA year ago, Microsoft said it would end Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, pushing users to its Edge browser, which launched in 2015.
The company made it clear that it was time to move on.
“Microsoft Edge is not only a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it can also address a key concern: compatibility with older legacy apps and websites,” Sean Lyndersay, General Manager, Microsoft EdgeEnterprise. , wrote in a blog post from May 2021.
Users marked the death of Explorer on Twitter, with some referring to it as an “insecure, bug-ridden POS” or the “primary browser for installing other browsers.” To others it was a nostalgic ’90s meme moment, while The Wall Street Journal quoted a 22-year-old who was sad to see internet explorer go.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, the antediluvian era of web browsing dominated by the first widely popular browser, Netscape Navigator. Its release marked the beginning of the end for Navigator: Microsoft went on to tie Internet Explorer and its ubiquitous Windows operating system together so closely that many people simply defaulted to it instead of Navigator.
The Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1997, saying it violated an earlier consent decree by requiring computer manufacturers to use its browser as a condition of using Windows. It finally agreed to settle the antitrust battle in 2002 over its use of its Windows monopoly to crush competitors. It also ran afoul of European regulators who said tying Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair advantage over rivals like Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera and Google’s Chrome.
Meanwhile, users complained that Internet Explorer was slow, prone to crashes, and vulnerable to attack. Its market share, which in the early 2000s exceeded 90%, began to fade as users found more attractive alternatives.
Today, the Chrome browser dominates with roughly a 65% share of the global browser market, followed by Apple’s Safari with 19%, according to internet analytics firm Statcounter. Internet Explorer’s heir, Edge, lags behind at 4%, just ahead of Firefox.