Launched in 1995, Microsoft Internet Explorer was a program destined for greatness. Computers were transforming, becoming a standard fixture in millions of homes across America – 36.6 percent of American households had a computer while only 18 percent of those homes had internet access. For those 18 percent, Internet Explorer was the window to the online world, building an interconnected web of information that would fundamentally change the way that we work, play, and communicate each day.
For the first 10 years, Internet Explorer got the job done. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the competition began to heat up. The launch of Mozilla’s Firefox in 2002 and Google’s Chrome in 2008 both marked the writing on the wall for Internet Explorer. With faster speeds, modern interfaces, and plugin enhancements, these browsers just simply did more. By the mid 2010s, Internet Explorer only had one job – install another browser.
After the launch of Microsoft Edge in 2015 and its new Chromium revamp in 2020, Internet Explorer has become more irrelevant than ever before. That’s why Microsoft has finally decided that the time has come – support for Internet Explorer is coming to an end.
Announced in a blog post, Microsoft is slowly winding down support for their legacy browser. Starting with the Microsoft Teams web application on November 30, the rest of the Microsoft 365 web apps will be cut off from the browser by August 17, 2021. While this may not seem like the final nail in the coffin to some, it certainly marks a major shift for organizations that rely on Internet Explorer to access the tools that they use for businesses each day. For organizations that run custom applications in Internet Explorer, the browser will be sticking around for the foreseeable future (even though support options and updates are going to be limited). Microsoft Edge features “Internet Explorer Mode”, allowing those legacy users to migrate over to the latest iteration of Microsoft’s software. While it's impossible for Microsoft to independently test each custom application, this IE Mode provides plenty of potential for teams to transition to the latest build of Microsoft Edge without losing some of the most important tools that they use for business each day.
For the non-Chromium version of Microsoft Edge Legacy (read: Internet Explorer 11.5), support is also ending relatively soon. As of March 9, 2021, non-Chromium edge “will not receive new security updates”, meaning that it’s time to upgrade for those that are using this browser as their daily driver.
Thankfully, there is some good news! Microsoft’s latest version of Edge, built entirely on Chromium (the same open-source project that powers Google Chrome), is phenomenal. Clean, lightweight, and optimized for Windows architecture, Microsoft Edge offers compatibility with Google’s Web Store, advanced customization options, and a speedy browsing experience that is blowing both Chrome and Firefox out of the water. It’s no wonder that it’s risen to be the world’s second-favorite web browser in under a year! Check out our full rundown on the perks of Microsoft Edge if you want to learn more about makes their latest version stand out from the crowd.
While it’s sure to disrupt the workflows of some users that are reluctant to adapt to a new way of work, entering the end of life stage is a natural part of a company’s transformation as their expertise expands, their tools advance, and their potential expands. With the successor to Windows 10 already on the horizon, it’s long past time to bid adieu to Internet Explorer.