Microsoft Has Ended Internet Explorer


The time has finally come – Microsoft has ended Internet Explorer.

The browser has been around for over 20 years, and in recent times has caused Microsoft a lot of issues – infact I think they have been rather ashamed of its low performance for some time.

I was developing a website the other day, and a client said it wasn’t working so well on Internet Explorer (IE). I checked it out and low and behold, it was all over the place. I checked it on Firefox, Chrome and Safari – it looked perfect. After speaking to the developers of a theme I was using, they told me that the website would display correctly on “all modern browsers”. Then it hit me – was IE considered an out of date browser? I certainly didn’t use it anymore. The sad truth is that Internet Explorer is old tech. We can’t all bank on technology staying the same forever, and so like Microsoft – we have had to change with the times. 

I remember using Internet Explorer when I was at school – I am 35 and computers/I.T. had just been introduced into our school classrooms at the time. IE was one of the first browsers to really gain popularity – and it really took off. IE was released in 1995 as part of Windows 95 of the same year. It obtained a 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003- which makes sense as to why there are some people still using it as the predominant browser. This was also back when Microsoft dominated the PC market, so a Microsoft browser being one of the most widely trusted was no surprise. 

However, in the 23 years that have elapsed since then, there are many other computing products and online services that have trumped Microsoft. These include HP, Apple, and mobile devices (Android etc). These different brands have also developed their own browsers – such as Apple creating Safari, and Google creating Chrome. As such, competition has broadened over the years and IE has not been able to keep up. 

In 2016 Microsoft told the public that they would no longer be providing updates to IE. This meant that it would be left to fall by the whey side and be replaced with something else. The idea is that people will experience issues with IE if they continue to use it, as it is no longer updated with security/performance patches. It is especially not recommended to visit eCommerce sites (online shops) with IE, as there would be security vulnerabilities that the lack of updates would leave open to attack. Microsoft has instead announced that they will be replacing IE with a new browser – Microsoft Edge. This will come pre-installed on new machines, and IE will slowly fade into obscurity. 

The new Microsoft Edge Logo

I have had quite a few clients who were surprised to hear that IE was on it’s way out. I think they still saw the glory days of the browser when it dominated and perhaps thought this good run would never end. The simple truth is that if people keep using it, it will freeze/hang in Windows Versions 10/8/7.

There are patches to fix this, but it seems futile to try and flog a dead horse. Instead, go for one of the more modern browsers such as Chrome/Firefox/Safari. These are all updated and are used/trusted by millions worldwide. 

You can download Chrome here

You can download Firefox here

If you’d like to read up more on why this has happened, as well as some of the issues that are being reported with continued use of IE, please visit the blog post links below. 

Official Microsoft Announcement to no longer update IE – 12th January 2016

Discussion on IE End Of Life – 2016

End of Internet Explorer – Metro

What The End of IE Means For Web Developers

The Sorry Legacy of Internet Explorer

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