Internet Explorer is finally headed to pasture.
As of Wednesday, Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that legions of Web surfers loved to hate — and some still claim to adore. The 27-year-old application has now joined BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of tech history.
The demise of IE was no surprise. A year ago, Microsoft said it was ending Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, pushing users to its Edge browser, which launched in 2015.
The company made it clear that now is the time to move on.
“Microsoft Edge is not only a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a major concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications,” says Microsoft Edge. Sean Lindersey, general manager of Enterprise, wrote in a May 2021 blog post.
Users marked the passing of explorer On Twitter, some refer to it as a “bug-ridden, insecure POS” or “the top browser to install over other browsers.” For others it was a moment to nod to the 90s, while The Wall Street Journal quoted a 22-year-old man who was saddened to see IE leave.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, an antediluvian era of Web surfing dominated by the previously widely popular browser, Netscape Navigator. Its launch signaled the beginning of the end for Navigator: Microsoft tied IE and its ubiquitous Windows operating system together so tightly that many people used it by default instead of Navigator.
The Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1997, saying it violated an earlier consent decree by requiring computer manufacturers to use their browser as a condition of using Windows. It eventually agreed to use its Windows monopoly in 2002 to settle the antitrust fight to squash competitors. It also clashed with European regulators, who said that linking Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair advantage over rivals such as Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera and Google’s Chrome.
Meanwhile, users complained that IE was slow, prone to crashing and vulnerable to hacks. IE’s market share, which was over 90% in the early 2000s, began to fade as users found more attractive options.
Today, the Chrome browser dominates the worldwide browser market with a roughly 65% share, followed by Apple’s Safari at 19%, according to Internet analytics company StatCounter. IE’s successor, Edge, is just ahead of Firefox, with about 4%.