The end of an Era for Internet Explorer.
The history of the internet has changed
It's finally happened. After more than a quarter of a century, Microsoft has retired Internet Explorer. As of 15th June 2022, 27 years after making its debut, Internet Explorer is no more and the future of browsing, as far as Microsoft see it, is the Edge browser. IE will transition over to Edge over the coming months and in the meantime Microsoft will re-direct users to Edge with an IE mode, importing data like passwords, favourites and settings - making for an easier transition for those IE fans!
IE has been fading for a few years and in the last survey (https://kinsta.com/browser-market-share/, accessed 15/6/22), it only held a 2% share of the desktop browser market. Conversely, Edge has been gradually growing in share during that time but still lags far behind the most popular browser - Google Chrome on 77%.
Despite that, as an MSP we have at times come across a website that will only work in Internet Explorer. So, what does this retirement announcement mean for those sites? Microsoft Edge will now ship with "IE mode", giving it in-built compatibility for older, legacy sites and applications.
IE is now officially out of support meaning it will no longer receive updates, patches, or security fixes. It will be retired in 2 phases:
Phase 1 will gradually redirect from IE to Edge over the next few months, meaning things will not just "stop working".
Phase 2 involves an update from Microsoft that permanently disable IE. This update will be released through the usual Microsoft Update channels.
Windows 11 doesn't include IE so any plans for rolling out the latest operating system will already have this in hand.
Internet Explorer has played a huge part in the evolution of the web, and whether you choose to bid IE a fond farewell or celebrate its passing, time moves on and Microsoft Edge will have a lot of work to do to regain the number 1 browser spot from Google Chrome. It certainly deserves a try, but whether it can do that remains to be seen.
If you want to find out more about how to use Edge in IE mode, Windows have written an article all about the transition, what to expect and how to use IE mode for both personal use and businesses. Find the article here.