Microsoft finally kills off Internet Explorer after 25 years

Microsoft has confirmed that it will end support for Internet Explorer 11 by the end of 2021, the company announced in its official blog last week.

The move to retire IE 11 will start with the Microsoft Teams web app, which will end support of the browser on November 30 of this year. By August 17, 2021, Microsoft 365 will no longer support IE 11.

“Customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11,” the company explained in its blog.

It’s also the perfect time for the legacy web browser to finally cap its long goodbye. This year, the new Microsoft Edge edged out Mozilla Firefox to become the second most used desktop browser behind Google Chrome, according to data from research firm NetMarketShare.

For its part, Microsoft has been pushing hard for its users to switch to Edge, with a recent update making it nearly impossible to uninstall. It may be infuriating for some, but this also means that everyone is able to use the new Edge when IE 11’s end of support date comes.

The tech giant is also banking on the new Edge browser’s security credentials, with a recent study showing that it beat other competitors, including Google Chrome. Just last week, Microsoft released a patch to address a serious vulnerability in IE’s scripting engine that allows a potential attacker to gain the same user rights as an authorized user.

“At a time when IT professionals are being asked to do more with less on an unprecedented level, we want to make it simple for our customers to balance productivity, security, privacy, and cost,” added Microsoft.

For companies with proprietary web applications that run on IE 11, Microsoft said that the new Edge has an IE mode, which will allow these apps to run.

In addition, Microsoft also announced that it will also end support for legacy Edge (pre-Chromium Edge) by March 9, 2021.

Internet Explorer rose to prominence in the late ‘90s, knocking off Netscape Navigator as the leading web browser at the time. At its peak, IE commanded 95% of the browser market, even higher than Google Chrome’s current market share. But outdated technology, bugs and security problems sent users to alternatives like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

When the 2010s rolled in, Chrome and Firefox had already surpassed IE, with the two offering a better user experience. To this day, IE still doesn’t support extensions, isn’t available outside of Windows and doesn’t sync with other devices by default—staple features of Firefox and Chrome.

Microsoft has long been trying to kill IE, warning users since 2015 that it will phase out support for older versions. With the new announcement, IE’s days of being the internet’s most hated browser may already be numbered.

For everyone who’s used Internet Explorer, this one’s for you:


Ralph Gurango

explainer | newsman | jrpg adventurer

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