Microsoft retired the consumer version of its popular Internet Explorer browser nearly 27 years after its desktop launch in 1995, which by 2004 had captured 95% of the market.
As of June 15, the browser will be disabled and users will be redirected to the Edge browser instead , with support officially withdrawing for IE 11.
Internet Explorer was the internet portal for people in an era when Microsoft dominated the world of technology, before Google, Facebook and Tik Tok. It had to be installed at that time within the computers using a CD.
Microsoft’s dominance in the market came due to its bundling of software as part of the Windows operating system.
This marks the end of an era in Internet history after the company initially moved away from the Internet Explorer brand with the release of Windows 10 in 2015.
For consumers, there are not many changes. Internet Explorer usage has declined in recent years, with StatCounter data showing that IE has less than 0.5% of the total browser market share.
Microsoft has been trying for years to prevent people from using Internet Explorer. The company previously touted it as a compatibility solution rather than a browser that businesses should use.
Microsoft will begin rolling out a new message in the coming months that will redirect those who still use Internet Explorer to Edge. Internet Explorer is permanently disabled as part of a future Windows update.
While Microsoft moved to Chromium-based Edge as the default browser in Windows 11, the MSHTML engine that powers Internet Explorer is still part of Windows 11. But the MSHTML engine is there to put IE into Edge only.
Microsoft says it supports IE mode in Edge until at least 2029. Companies have largely moved to IE’s Edge mode for web applications and sites that are so old that they still require Internet Explorer .
Microsoft redirects users to Edge
Microsoft created IE mode for Edge in 2019, and it supports older ActiveX controls that many older sites still use. Internet Explorer remains in this mode.
Some companies are still surprised to stop Internet Explorer. Reports said some government agencies and financial institutions in Japan were slow to respond to Internet Explorer’s retirement .
The JPS website should still be displayed in IE mode of the Edge browser. A survey in March revealed that a large number of organizations in Japan rely on Internet Explorer, with 49% of respondents saying they used the browser for work.
And there are probably thousands of companies and similar Internet Explorer use cases around the world as well.
Microsoft has been warning for years about the retirement of Internet Explorer, and is still cautiously dealing with prompts and redirects until the browser is removed entirely in the coming months.
It is reported that Internet Explorer does not come with Windows 11. This marks the first time in more than 20 years that the company has not linked Internet Explorer to a new version of Windows.
The company said its decision to ditch Internet Explorer was largely because web developers were less likely to make their sites compatible with Internet Explorer.
And the company decided that continuing to stand out from Chrome with a unique platform on the web no longer made sense. This came after years of trying to address incompatibilities as they appeared with different websites.
The company ended support for Internet Explorer in Teams in 2020. It also announced plans to discontinue support for Internet Explorer 11 in web browsers in Windows 10 and Microsoft 365.
The browser bundled with Windows has been a Microsoft advantage in the past. But the company said people are now aware of other options.