Microsoft pulls plug on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer was launched in 1995 and came preinstalled on every Windows device for almost 20 years beginning in 1997. 

Microsoft will finally retire Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022. The web browser is said to be replaced with certain versions of Windows 10.

“The future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge,” reads a blog post from Microsoft published Wednesday. “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.”

More than two decades ago, IE was riding high—perhaps too high to some. It featured prominently in the browser battle of roughly 20 years ago and in the U.S. government’s antitrust battle against Microsoft. A federal judge ruled that Microsoft maintained its monopoly in operating-systems software by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the web-browser market by unlawfully tying its Internet Explorer browser to its Windows operating-system software. The practice caused the use of Netscape Navigator, once a dominant browser, “to drop substantially” from 1995 to 1998, the judge wrote. Microsoft in 2001 reached a settlement with the Justice Department over its allegations, without admitting wrongdoing.

Internet Explorer has faded gradually from prominence as rival browsers such as Chrome from Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit and Safari from Apple Inc. have won audiences. IE had less than 2% of the global browser market for desktop computers in April, according to web analytics firm Stat counter. Chrome had more than 65% of that market, ahead of Safari’s roughly 10%. Microsoft Edge had 8%, according to the data.

The end of Internet Explorer has been a long time coming. Microsoft ended support for IE 11 for the Microsoft Teams web app last year, and it’s planning to cut it off from accessing Microsoft 365 services later this year. IE 11 will no longer be supported for Microsoft’s online services like Office 365, OneDrive, Outlook, and more on August 17th.

For those that are still using IE, the company recommends transitioning to Edge before the June 15, 2022 end date. Users can migrate passwords, favorites, and other browsing data to the new browser “in a few clicks,” according to the company.

The IE “mode” within Edge is set to be supported through 2029, the company added.