SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Internet Explorer is finally heading to the grasslands.
From Wednesday, Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that web surfers loved and hated — and some still claim to adore. The 27-year-old now joins BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems, and Palm Pilots in the trash can of tech history.
IE’s demise was no surprise. A year ago, Microsoft said it was putting an end to Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, pushing users to the Edge browser, which launched in 2015.
The company made it clear that it was time to move on.
“Microsoft Edge is not only a faster, more secure, and modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a major concern: compatibility with outdated and outdated websites and applications,” Shaun Lindsay, General Manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote in Blog post May 2021.
Users select Pass Explorer on Twitter, referring to it as an “unsafe and bug-ridden point of sale” or “the best browser to install other browsers.” For others, it was a moment for ’90s nostalgia, while the Wall Street Journal quotes a 22-year-old who was Sad to see IE go.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, a pre-modern era of web browsing which was dominated by the first widely popular browser, Netscape Navigator. Its launch marked the beginning of the end of Navigator: Microsoft continued to tie IE and the ubiquitous Windows operating system together so tightly that many people used it by default instead of Navigator.
The Department of Justice sued Microsoft in 1997, saying it had violated an earlier consent decree by requiring computer makers to use their browser as a condition of using Windows. It eventually agreed to settle an antitrust battle in 2002 over its use of the Windows monopoly to crush competitors. It has also tangled with European regulators who have said linking Internet Explorer to Windows gives it an unfair advantage over competitors such as Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome.
Meanwhile, users complained that IE was slow, prone to crashing, and prone to hacking. IE’s market share, which was over 90% in the early 2000s, is starting to wane as users find more attractive alternatives.
Today, Chrome dominates nearly 65% of the worldwide browser market, followed by Apple’s Safari with 19%, according to internet analytics firm Statcounter. IE’s successor, Edge, lags about 4%, right before Firefox.