Microsoft says goodbye to Internet Explorer, pushes out Microsoft Edge


Mike Mozart | Flickr

Arianne Gonzalez, Arts & Culture Editor

It’s the end of an era.

After nearly three decades, Microsoft Corp. is retiring its longtime and iconic web browser Internet Explorer. In its stead, the company is pushing out Microsoft Edge for users of their devices and operating systems.

The company announced on June 15 that the 27-year-old browser is “officially retired and out of support.”

“Internet Explorer’s reputation today is, deservedly, one of a product from an older era—quirky in behavior and lacking the security of a modern browser,” General Manager Sean Lyndersay wrote in a blog post. “But the web has evolved and so have browsers.”

Microsoft apps will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, the latest iteration of the browser. In the coming months, users will be redirected to Microsoft Edge when opening Internet Explorer.

Edge will have an “IE” mode, which aims to make the transition between the two easier as favorites, passwords and settings will be imported from Internet Explorer.

Eventually, according to the blog post, a future Windows update will disable Internet Explorer permanently and remove its icons on devices.

The move to retire the browser has been a long time coming. Internet Explorer originally debuted in 1995 and had 95% of browser market users in 2002, according to CNN. It even “hastened the demise” of competing browser Netscape.

But the lack of an update until 2006 from IE 6 led the browser to flounder and become buggy, slow and at risk for security issues, pushing users to other browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

In 2015, it was announced that Microsoft Edge will be the main browser for Windows 10. However, it did not necessarily replace the company’s original browser as it was still packaged together with Edge on Windows computers, according to CNN.

In comparison to its predecessor, Microsoft Edge has better security and increased privacy according to the company. It uses Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, which helps identify suspicious websites that might be prone for bringingabout viruses or malware attacks. It also has three levels of tracking prevention — basic, balanced and strict — and offers InPrivate browsing.

“Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications,” Lyndersay wrote in a blogpost. “Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (“IE mode”) built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”

The public on social media has responded in all manner of memes and reverence to the web browser.

“Today marks the official end of Microsoft’s support for Internet Explorer. RIP to the #1 Chrome installer of all time,” a user said on Twitter.

Some opted for pictures jokingly referring to the browser’s speed in comparison to the other web browsers. Others were more sentimental.

“Bye-bye, Internet Explorer[.] Though I’ve been a Mac enthusiast for a long time, that’s not to say I haven’t grown up using you to explore the Interwebs when I was a child. You’ll be missed,” another user tweeted.

South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young even erected a gravestone to commemorate the browser.

“It was a pain in the ass, but I would call it a love-hate relationship because Explorer itself once dominated an era,” he said to Reuters.

“I regret that it’s gone, but won’t miss it. So its retirement, to me, is a good death.”