Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Good Riddance: Microsoft Announces Internet Explorer’s End of Life

It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft has officially announced Internet Explorer’s impending end of life.

Internet Explorer — not so affectionately known as “Internet Exploder” by critics — was once the most popular web browser in use. In the early days of the web, Netscape was the primary option. Microsoft realized the threat Netscape posed and started aggressively pushing Internet Explorer, bundling it with Windows in ways that helped it gain popularity, and land Microsoft in an antitrust trial.

Unfortunately, being the most popular did not equate to being the best. Throughout its life, Internet Explorer had a horrible reputation for playing fast and lose with internet standards. Many a web designer rued the day Microsoft decided to enter the web browser fray.

Microsoft has now announced Internet Explorer’s end of life, with Microsoft Edge being the company’s successor. Unlike Internet Explorer, Edge is based on the open source Chromium rendering engine, making it far more standards-compliant than Internet Explorer could ever hope to be.

Microsoft’s Sean Lyndersay made the announcement via a blog post.

Over the last year, you may have noticed our movement away from Internet Explorer (“IE”) support, such as an announcement of the end of IE support by Microsoft 365 online services. Today, we are at the next stage of that journey: we are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge. Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications. Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (“IE mode”) built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge. With Microsoft Edge capable of assuming this responsibility and more, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10.

There are some applications that have a certain nostalgia, even if they no longer serve a purpose, and are missed on that basis alone. In Internet Explorer’s case, it will be missed about as much as a bad toothache.

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