Microsoft has ended its web browser Internet Explorer, sparking panic among many companies and government agencies in Japan who waited until the last minute to update their websites.
Tokyo-based software developer Computer Engineering & Consulting since April has received requests for help from customers who are mostly government agencies, financial institutions, manufacturers and logistics companies that run only Internet Explorer-compatible websites.
“They have known about the phasing out for a long time,” said a CEC official, who expects the chaos among the stalling agents to continue for a few months. But they postponed taking action until the last minute.
Microsoft has officially discontinued support for Internet Explorer after 27 years of service. Many users switch to Google Chrome.
A March survey by IT resource provider Keyman’s Net revealed that a large number of organizations in Japan rely on Internet Explorer, with 49% of respondents saying they used the browser for work.
They said the browser was used to manage employee attendance, expense reconciliation and other internal tools. In some cases, they have no choice but to use Internet Explorer due to the customer systems used to handle orders.
More than 20% of these respondents did not know or discover how to switch to other browsers after Internet Explorer was retired.
Microsoft has ended support for Internet Explorer
Government agencies are also slow to respond. The Government Procurement and Bidding Information Portal lists Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome as recommended browsers.
But for the JPS, notifications about online applications must be viewed in IE mode within the Microsoft Edge browser.
The website of the government-backed co-op for private schools still lists Internet Explorer as the only recommended browser.
The IT Promotion Agency urges Internet Explorer users to switch to other browsers and review the content immediately.
Launched in 1995, the browser became the global standard after beating Netscape in the browser wars and enjoying a 65% market share in January 2009.
But its share began to decline steadily in the late 2000s. It has fallen to less than 1% recently, according to web analytics firm StatCounter.
The discontinuation of IE coincided with the rapid rise of the Google Chrome browser. Google launched its browser in 2008 with the Google Open Source Project as its base.
Google Chrome has attracted users with applications such as Maps and Email that run across the web. It dominates the market with a 65% share.
AI developer ExaWizards said: Google Chrome is fast. And its frequent updates mean that vulnerabilities and bugs are quickly addressed.