Internet Explorer, the web browser we love to hate, will die next year

Microsoft is officially ending Internet Explorer in June 2022.

Alexandre Hassenstein | Getty Images

Internet Explorer is coming to the end of a long, slow death, Microsoft announced this week.

At 25, the much hated web browser that once dominated the internet couldn’t shake its reputation as a slow, buggy browsing option.

Microsoft has been away from the product since at least 2015, when it introduced its successor, Microsoft Edge (formerly known as Project Spartan). In mid-June next year, the Internet Explorer desktop app will finally be quiesced.

In the browser obituary, the company said that “the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge.”

The company says Microsoft Edge is faster, more secure, and compatible with early websites – qualities its predecessor was criticized as lacking.

Microsoft 365, the company’s subscription-based app bundle, will bid the browser farewell in August. The videoconferencing platform, Microsoft Teams, had already buried Internet Explorer last November.

But in the new browser, the ghost of Internet Explorer still lives for those who choose to believe it: Edge offers a built-in Internet Explorer mode.

While this may seem odd to young people whose internet experiences did not revolve around the blue “e” icon, Explorer was once considered an unstoppable part of a monopoly.

When Windows introduced Explorer in 1995, its success killed Netscape Navigator. At its peak in the early 2000s, Explorer controlled 95% of the browser market.

But Microsoft has failed to keep pace with its competition, losing user respect for poor security, sloppy web pages, and slowness.

Yet Explorer refused to die. Microsoft has tried to reinvigorate its image by recognizing the bad reputation of the browser. In 2012, he launched a fun ad campaign renaming Explorer as “the browser you loved to hate”.

Indeed, its ugly image served as fodder for memes: a browser too slow to load its news. disappearance, or the best browser to download a higher one.

In a 2014 “Ask Me Anything” discussion on Reddit, Microsoft engineers who worked on the browser said the company debated renaming Explorer to “get rid of negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today.” hui “.

But it was too late, the damage was done. Frustrated users had already flocked to Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome. Even in 2015, AdWeek’s Kristina Monllos told NPR that an expiration date for the struggling browser was late.

Google Chrome is now the leading browser, holding a 64% share of the global market, according to browser tracker StatCounter, while Edge users are at less than 4%.

On social media, people familiar with Explorer paid tribute to a broken browser. “Internet Explorer is unreliable, what a legacy,” wrote one Twitter user Adriana Figueroa. Others were surprised that Explorer kept kicking.

Next summer, Internet Explorer will join other nefarious services in the nostalgic graveyard of the Internet’s past, following the fate of the company’s Hotmail and its famous Windows mascot “Clippy”.

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