Microsoft Internet Explorer withdraws and ends support

Microsoft Corporation. Chairman Bill Gates announced a new version of Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP and that Microsoft will include Windows AntiSpyware technology at no additional charge, during his keynote address at the 2005 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, February 3. 15, 2005. Two new enhancements will lead to safer web browsing according to Gates.

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Microsoft discontinued support for the Internet Explorer web browser on Wednesday, indicating that the end is near for a 26-year-old brand with luggage that includes an antitrust box, security flaws and lagging performance. Users will instead be directed to Microsoft’s newest Edge browser.

While Microsoft doesn’t get revenue directly from browsers, Edge defaults to the company’s Bing search engine default, through which the software and hardware maker generates advertising revenue. This category represents about 6% of Microsoft’s total revenue, about $3 billion in the first quarter.

Microsoft won’t offer tech support or security updates to customers because it’s focusing more on Edge, a browser available on mobile devices, Mac, and even Linux, rather than being limited to Windows. Microsoft Edge released as part of Windows 10 in 2015, to co-exist alongside Internet Explorer as something new and powerful yet similar to what Windows users already know.

Internet Explorer still has a small group of devotees, though in part because it remains the only way to access some corporate web applications. It’s not going away yet, although she’s retired.

“Over the next few months, opening Internet Explorer will gradually redirect users to our new modern browser, Microsoft Edge with IE mode,” Sean Lyndersay, the company’s general manager, wrote in a blog post. Users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices (such as 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, Internet Explorer will open and be disabled permanently as part of a future Windows update, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on their devices will be removed.”

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

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

A Brief History of Internet Explorer

In 1995, the web quickly became a top priority for Microsoft. Microsoft’s then CEO, Bill Gates, declared in a note that web developments “will determine the course of our industry for a long time to come.” Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer into Windows 95 for free. It took quickly.

Internet Explorer took the lead in browser market share thanks to its inclusion in Windows, the world’s most used computer operating system. This strategy helped Microsoft undermine Netscape Communications’ Navigator browser.

When the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust case against Microsoft in 1998, the federal agency called the compilation of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 an “unlawful link.” The company changed the terms of its agreements with device makers to allow them to remove browser icons from Windows if they wanted to show other browsers.

There are other issues that damage Internet Explorer’s reputation as well. A security expert said in 2004 that it was “foolish” to use a browser. The Washington Post published an article titled “Internet Explorer Unsafe for 284 Days in 2006”. In 2014, after one flaw was revealed, the US Department of Homeland Security said those who couldn’t follow Microsoft’s advice to mitigate should consider using another browser.

Internet Explorer has not always provided the best performance. Chrome’s speed particularly impressed observers when it came out in 2008. That was by design. When Google came up with Chrome’s values, it chose three points: speed, stability, and security, said Aaron Bodman, a former Chrome engineering director.

The difference in performance with Internet Explorer is evident to this day. Its handling of the widely used HTML5 markup language can’t keep up with Chrome, Edge, or Safari’s Safari.

Digital preferences have changed over a quarter of a century. The smartphone has become a companion for billions of people, and in 2012 Google won the browser wars with Chrome.

In 2020, Microsoft released a new version of Edge located on Chromium, the open source project behind Google Chrome browser, and it came with Internet Explorer Mode, allowing enterprise workers to access websites built for Edge’s Internet Explorer browser. Last year, Microsoft advised consumers to switch from Internet Explorer to Edge. Now the company is working to reduce the presence of its native browser even more.

Microsoft now wants to make sure that people still using Internet Explorer move to Edge, which has a roughly 4% share, according to data from private StatCounter. Lindsay wrote that the company will move favorites, passwords, and settings from Internet Explorer to Edge. He said Edge is “the best browser for Windows.”

Watch: Say goodbye to Internet Explorer

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