Microsoft is discontinuing Internet Explorer and ending support

Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates during his keynote address at the 2005 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, February 15, 2005, announced that Microsoft will include a new version of Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP and Windows AntiSpyware technology at no additional charge. did Two new improvements will lead to safer Internet browsing, according to Gates.

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Microsoft Internet Explorer stopped supporting the web browser on Wednesday, signaling the end of a 26-year-old brand with baggage that included an antitrust case, security flaws and lagging performance. Users will be redirected to Microsoft’s newer Edge browser instead.

While Microsoft doesn’t directly generate revenue from browsers, Edge defaults to the company’s Bing search engine, from which the software and hardware maker gets ad revenue. This category accounted for about 6% of Microsoft’s total revenue, at about $3 billion in the first quarter.

Microsoft will not offer technical support or security updates to customers as it focuses more on its Edge browser, which is available on mobile devices, Mac and even Linux, rather than being limited to Windows. Microsoft released Edge as part of Windows 10 in 2015 to exist alongside Internet Explorer as something new and efficient but similar to what Windows users know.

Internet Explorer still has a small group of devotees, but in part because it remains the only way to access certain corporate web applications. Even though he’s retired, he won’t be gone yet.

“Over the next few months, the launch of Internet Explorer will gradually transition users to Microsoft Edge with IE Mode, our new modern browser,” the company’s general manager Sean Lyndersay wrote in a blog post. “Users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their device (such as in the taskbar or Start menu), but if they click to open Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge will open with easy access to IE mode. Finally, Internet Explorer will be part of a future Windows Update can be permanently disabled as part of this, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on their devices will be removed.”

A “Reload in IE mode” button will appear on the Edge toolbar, and the browser will ask people if they want to open the page in IE mode the next time, Lyndersay wrote.

“Microsoft Edge will also check every 30 days to make sure the user needs IE mode for the site,” he wrote. “As more and more sites are updated to modern standards, users will need to use less IE mode and more modern rendering engines.”

A brief history of Internet Explorer

In 1995, the Internet quickly became a high priority for Microsoft. Microsoft’s then-CEO Bill Gates declared in a memo that web developments would “determine the course of our industry long into the future.” Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer for free with the Windows 95 operating system. He caught it quickly.

Internet Explorer has taken a leading position in the browser market thanks to its inclusion in Windows, the most widely used computer operating system in the world. The strategy helped Microsoft undercut then-upcoming Netscape Communications’ Navigator browser.

In 1998, when the US Department of Justice filed a landmark antitrust case against Microsoft, the federal agency described the bundling of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 as “illegal bundling.” The company has changed the terms of its contracts with device manufacturers to allow them to remove browser icons from Windows if they want to feature other browsers.

Other problems also tarnish Internet Explorer’s reputation. A security expert said in 2004 that using the browser was “unwise”. “The Washington Post” published an article under the title “Internet Explorer was not secure for 284 days in 2006.” After a flaw was discovered in 2014, the US Department of Homeland Security said that those who failed to follow Microsoft’s recommendations should use a different browser.

Internet Explorer did not always perform at its best. Chrome’s speed particularly impressed observers when it appeared in 2008. This was by design. Former Chrome engineering manager Aaron Boodman said that when Google found values ​​for Chrome, it chose the three S’s: speed, stability and security.

The performance difference with Internet Explorer is still evident. Its handling of the widely used HTML5 markup language cannot keep up with Chrome, Edge, or Apple’s Safari.

Digital preferences have shifted over a quarter of a century. The smartphone has become the companion of billions of people and in 2012 Google It won the browser wars with Chrome.

In 2020, Microsoft released a new version of Edge based on Chromium, the open-source project behind the Google Chrome browser, which, along with Internet Explorer mode, allowed enterprise workers to access websites designed for Internet Explorer in Edge. Last year, Microsoft advised consumers to switch from Internet Explorer to Edge. Now the company is further reducing the availability of its original browser.

Now Microsoft wants to make sure that people who still use Internet Explorer will switch to Edge, which has about a 4% share, according to data from private StatCounter. The company will migrate favorites, passwords and settings from Internet Explorer to Edge, Lyndersay wrote. Edge, he says, is “the best browser for Windows.”

WATCH: Say goodbye to Internet Explorer

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