On June 16, 2022, Microsoft officially announced the end of support for the Internet Explorer browser after 27 years of its release, so what is the story behind the browser that everyone agreed to avoid using?
If you ask someone from Gen Z (young people born in the 2000s) and younger generations what browser they use to access the Internet, they will tell you about Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Opera, Google Chrome, etc. But what about Internet Explorer? The answer would be that they have never heard of it or used it unlike millennials and older generations (unfortunately for them).
However, I must remind them that Internet Explorer, whether you like it or hate it, was a strong competitor in the browser market, and even managed to reach the top in 2003 when it managed to dominate with 95% of the market share; But what some don’t know is that nothing is immune; No matter how powerful and great it is, if it does not keep pace with development and maintain competition, it will fall, and history is a good example of that. Do you remember BlackBerry, Nokia and others? All of them are giants who reached the top, attracted millions of users and ruled the world, but they could not keep up with the power of technology, so they became scattered for nothing.
As for Microsoft’s retirement of the Windows star for good, we knew that day would come, but in fact everyone was surprised that the company took so long to make the decision to pull the plug on its famous Internet Explorer browser, especially since it is outdated and no longer able to Compete with other famous browsers, and ironically, users were relying on it to download another browser, so let us take you on a quick tour and take back the nostalgia around the beginnings of the famous Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and explore the errors that killed one of the surfing moguls.
The history of the hated Microsoft browser
In 1990 the first web browser appeared called “WorldWideWeb” (not to be confused with the World Wide Web) and was created by Tim Berners-Lee (founder and director of the World Wide Web Consortium) and this was the only browser that could be used to access the Internet at that time Then two years later “Lynx” came out and it was a text browser that didn’t display any graphic content. A year later, Mosaic was the first browser to display images alongside text. Finally, Microsoft’s shining star, Internet Explorer, came to us in 1995 as Microsoft’s first official web browser.
Internet Explorer 1
The first version of Internet Explorer appeared on August 16, 1995 as part of “Microsoft Plus”, a package that brings sound effects, games, themes, screen savers, and other improvements to Windows 95, and has since been discontinued by Microsoft; But at the time, it was selling for $50 and included the popular game “Pinball” I’ve been playing with for a long time.
The first version of Microsoft’s browser was based on the Mosaic browser’s source code after Microsoft bought the property rights from developers from Spyglass, and the browser was just 1MB in size.
Internet Explorer 2
Internet Explorer 3
Four months later, the company decided to launch the third version of the browser, and at this time Internet Explorer was trying to compete with the most popular browser “Netscape” owned by AOL, and the third version of Explorer provided some features, including support for the “RealPlayer” media player alongside “Windows” Media Player” in addition to support for frameworks, which allows the operation of two web pages on one page, and finally, support for “ActiveX”, a program that allows tools and applications to share functions and data with each other via a web browser.
Internet Explorer 4/5/6
Microsoft launched the fourth and fifth versions of Internet Explorer with some normal features, but in late August 2001 the sixth generation of the IE browser was launched, which got a new design in conjunction with the launch of Windows XP, which gained immense popularity among users until recently, and this stage was the best For the Internet Explorer browser, where it was able to sit on the throne of Internet browsers with a market share of about 95%, while the Netscape browser was bought by AOL, which neglected it until it became out of competition.
In 2008, Microsoft’s competitor support in browsers officially ended, and from here it became clear that Microsoft had been assured that there was no competition and that its browser could not be defeated, and therefore did not bother to update it and it took five years to complete until it launched the seventh generation of the browser.
The sixth version of Internet Explorer was occupying 80% of the market, and it was already the most popular browser ever at that time. This version included many improvements and innovations, such as the ability to automatically resize the image, customize a toolbar for images and another for media, and print preview, In addition to the ability to manage cookies and more..
Do you know?
In 2009, YouTube began discontinuing support for IE6, and a banner was installed that only showed those using that version, telling them it was important to move to Google Chrome, Firefox, or IE8.
Internet Explorer 7
We move to 2006 when the seventh generation of the browser was launched, however, Internet Explorer 6 is still the most popular, but Internet Explorer 7 was the first of its kind that supports tabs so that you can browse many websites easily, moreover, Microsoft installed its browser This is preinstalled on her Windows Vista system.
Internet Explorer 8
The eighth generation of the browser came in March of 2009 and was preinstalled on Windows 7 and this version is the first to offer the private browsing feature and developer tools have appeared that allow them to debug websites via Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer 9
Contrary to what was expected, Internet Explorer 9 came in 2011 alone and did not coincide with the launch of a new Windows system, but it provided great features, the most important of which was support for programming languages such as HTML5 and CSS3.
Internet Explorer 10/11
It appeared in 2012 and during the launch of Windows 8 and Surface tablets, and among the new features that it provided was that it supported flash instead of the user installing other add-ons, and in 2013 Internet Explorer 11 was launched and there were no new features as Microsoft returned us, but the additions were These are browser improvements such as high-quality screen support.
The Edge browser was launched on July 29, 2015 and it was pre-installed in Windows 10, and it can be said that Edge is Internet Explorer 12, but the name has changed only with some new features and improvements and minor design changes, but it did not offer much to users at a time when Google was able through its Chrome browser To dominate the market and Apple’s Safari browser appeared, which also made it pre-installed across its various devices, and there are other browsers that managed to get a share of the market, such as Opera and of course Firefox.
The most important reasons that led to the failure of Microsoft browser
When Internet Explorer appeared in August 1995, its success wiped out the then pioneering Netscape Navigator browser at the height of its power, but with the advent of Microsoft’s browser and pre-installed in Windows, Explorer controlled 95% of the browser market.
But Microsoft failed to keep pace with the competition, and Internet Explorer began to lose respect among users due to poor security, difficulty navigating smoothly between web pages, and sluggishness that left users bored and annoyed.
However, the life support browser didn’t give up and Microsoft tried to revitalize its image by acknowledging that there were problems with its browser, so in 2012 it launched a hilarious ad campaign poking fun at users’ hatred of the browser and renamed Explorer to “The Browser I Loved Hate”.
This campaign did not succeed, and the Internet Explorer browser continued to decline as a result of not exploiting the features it possesses as the first and most popular, not paying attention to its development and relying only on Microsoft’s monopoly on the browser market. However, the emergence of other powerful browsers made it clear to the user that Internet Explorer was not a good product at all, as it was exposed to security problems and do not forget the slow and endless waiting to browse the web in addition to other problems that the user was facing while relying on the Microsoft browser, and here is a situation Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the first nail in the coffin of Microsoft’s browser.
Then the second nail came when Microsoft engineers who worked on Internet Explorer revealed that the company was thinking about renaming the browser because of the problems and negative perceptions that anyone imagined just talking about Explorer, but it was too late as the reputation of Internet Explorer was already destroyed despite the launch of Edge in 2015. (It currently owns less than 4% of the browser market.)
As for the third nail in the coffin of the Internet Explorer browser, it came from tradition, as the company sought to bring the features offered by other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and others and put them in Internet Explorer, but the matter did not work because the user found what he wanted in another fast, secure and powerful browser, and these qualities were lacking in a browser Microsoft, and even if Explorer becomes like this, it will not get the user’s trust that easily, as it is used to the new product, and thus the company has failed once again to enter the competition.
Ego is the last nail in the coffin of Internet Explorer and vanity always kills its owner, and perhaps Nokia is the biggest proof of this, as it felt arrogant after its dominance in the smart phone market, and that’s why it decided not to do anything or try to develop its products, and of course there were other companies coming strong and interested in Nokia and even When you started feeling it, it was too late, Android phones and iPhones appeared and Nokia disappeared forever. Similarly, Microsoft did not care about the emergence of new browsers, but rather ignored the open source Chromium kernel, which proved its efficiency over other browsers, until it was too late for Microsoft to re-introduce the browser Edge is built on that kernel.
Finally, you may love it or hate it, but there is one undeniable fact, which is that many of us grew up with it. From work, success, superiority, slowness, disappointment, distrust, boredom, and loss.