Internet Explorer Officially Retires Today after 27 Years of Surfing
Starting from 15 June 2022, we will be officially bidding adieu to the once-dominant browser in the history of the internet, the Internet Explorer. Microsoft’s oldest browser will be completely phased out from our desktops from now onwards. It will be disabled from users’ desktops and they will be, instead, redirected to Microsoft’s Edge browser.
With its official retirement, IE will be joining the clan of Blackberry phones, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots, who once emerged as pioneers of tech but rather ended up in the bins of the tech history.
IE’s Bittersweet Popularity among Surfers
In 1995, Microsoft launched its Internet Explorer. Throughout its 27 years of tenure, web surfers shared a bittersweet likeness with the browser. For millennials, born prior to Generation Z, IE was their gateway to the internet. It was also launched in an era where Microsoft completely dominated the world of tech, much before the likes of Google, Facebook and TikTok hoped in. In fact, it was also a time when the browser had to be installed on to our computers using a CD-ROM.
IE is nearly three-decade-old. Its usage peaked in 2003 with a 95% usage share. Despite its peak popularity, the browser could not maintain its position and its user base started to decline drastically as other competitors released new browsers with better user interfaces, faster internet speed and faster internet speed along with smoother performance.
The Legacy of Internet Explorer
Over time, it developed into a default browser used to install other browsers. Internet Explorer’s popularity further started to decline with the emergence of Google Chrome. While Chrome suffers from the same issues that maligned IE, its exit from the need to support the legacy browser will be a relief for web developers.
Fast forward to 27 years, and Internet Explorer will be gone for good. The browser’s retirement did not come as a surprise. In 2021, Microsoft announced its retirement on this date (15 June 2022). The company was, instead, diverting its users to its Edge browser which was launched in 2015. Microsoft made it very clear that it was time (for everyone) to move on.
In a blog post published on 21 May 2021, Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, stated: “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.”
The market is reacting a lot more strongly to the upcoming retirement of Internet Explorer this week than I expected.
— Sean Lyndersay (@SeanOnTwt) June 13, 2022
Despite its rugged popularity, Internet Explorer continues to maintain a rigid brand reputation. In fact, the browser is a constant meme resource for netizens. A Roy Morgan survey commissioned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September 2021 found the browsers people were most aware of were Chrome (95%), followed by Internet Explorer (85%), Firefox (81%), Apple Safari (80%) and Edge (69%).
The survey also revealed that just 28% of people used Internet Explorer on their computer along with 81% who used Chrome and 73% of Apple users. The only reason users preferred using IE was that it was pre-installed on their computer and there was no secondary reason for using another browser.
Years subsequent to its launch, Microsoft had started offering the browser for free as a part of the add-on package for Windows 95. Although the bundled browser in Windows might have been an advantage to Microsoft in the past, the company remarked how people were aware of alternatives. Meanwhile, Microsoft Edge has only a 9% market share.