Microsoft withdraws Internet Explorer and terminates support

The Chairman of the Board of Microsoft Corp., Bill Gates, announces a new version of Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP and that Microsoft will include Windows AntiSpyware technology at no extra cost, during his keynote address at the RSA Conference 2005 in San Francisco, Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The two new improvements will lead to safer web browsing, according to Gates.

Kim Kulish | Corbis historic | Getty pictures

Microsoft stopped supporting the Internet Explorer browser on Wednesday, indicating that the end is near for a 26-year-old brand of luggage that includes an antitrust case, security flaws and poor performance. Users will instead be directed to Microsoft’s newer Edge browser.

While Microsoft does not generate revenue directly from browsers, Edge uses the company’s Bing search engine by default, where the software and hardware manufacturer generates advertising revenue. This category represents approximately 6% of Microsoft’s total revenue, to nearly $ 3 billion in the first quarter.

Microsoft will not offer technical support or security updates to customers as it focuses more on Edge, a browser available on mobile devices, Macs and even Linux, instead of being limited to Windows. Microsoft released Edge as part of Windows 10 in 2015, to co-exist with Internet Explorer as something new and efficient, yet similar to what Windows users already knew.

However, Internet Explorer still has a small group of followers, in part because it is still the only way to reach certain corporate web applications. It will not disappear yet, even if it is retired.

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

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

“Microsoft Edge will also check in with the user every 30 days to ensure that they still need IE mode for the site,” he wrote. “As more and more websites are updated to modern standards, users will need to use IE mode less and the modern rendering engine more.”

A brief history of Internet Explorer

In 1995, the web quickly became a high priority for Microsoft. The then Microsoft CEO Bill Gates stated in a note that web development “will set the course for our industry for a long time to come.” Microsoft collected Internet Explorer in the Windows 95 operating system for free. It quickly took hold.

Internet Explorer has taken a dominant lead in browser market share thanks to its inclusion in Windows, the world’s most widely used PC operating system. The strategy helped Microsoft undermine the then-upcoming Netscape Communications Navigator browser.

When the US Department of Justice filed its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft in 1998, the federal agency described the interconnection of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 as an “illegal binding”. The company changed the terms of its agreements with device manufacturers to allow them to remove browser icons from Windows if they want to display other browsers.

Other issues also damage the reputation of Internet Explorer. A security expert said in 2004 that it was “stupid” to use the browser. The Washington Post published an article entitled “Internet Explorer Insecure for 284 Days in 2006.” In 2014, following the revelation of a bug, the US Department of Homeland Security said those who could not follow Microsoft’s mitigation measures should consider using a different browser.

Internet Explorer did not always provide the best performance. Chrome’s speed particularly impressed observers when it appeared in 2008. It was by design. When Google came up with the values ​​for Chrome, it chose three Ss: speed, stability and security, said Aaron Boodman, a former Chrome engineer.

The performance difference with Internet Explorer is clear to this day. Handling the widely used HTML5 markup language can not keep up with Chrome, Edge or Apple Safari.

Digital preferences changed over a quarter of a century. The smartphone became a companion for billions of people, and in 2012, Google gained the upper hand in the browser wars with Chrome.

In 2020, Microsoft released a new version of Edge that relies on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser, and it came with Internet Explorer mode, which allowed enterprise workers to access websites designed for Internet Explorer and Edge. Last year, Microsoft advised consumers to switch from Internet Explorer to Edge. Now the company is further reducing the presence of its original browser.

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

SEE: Say goodbye to Internet Explorer