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Microsoft Retires Internet Explorer 27 Years After Launch

Published: June 16, 2022

The days of using Internet Explorer will soon be history. Microsoft is ending support of the web browser starting June 15. Instead, the tech company urges users still using IE to switch to Microsoft Edge, the browser it introduced in 2015.

“Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer,” wrote Sean Lyndersay, General Manager, Microsoft Edge Enterprise, in a 2021 blog post, “but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications. Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (‘IE mode’) built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”

The end of support means that Microsoft will no longer roll out important security updates or bug fixes for the web browser, the last version of which is Internet Explorer 11.

Devices will be redirected from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge in a progressive manner over the next few months. During this transition period, Windows updates will not redirect devices, so do not skip updates you’re prompted to install. Eventually, however, a future Windows update will permanently disable Internet Explorer.

If you plan to use IE mode on Microsoft Edge, it is vital that you do not uninstall Internet Explorer from your computer. According to Microsoft, IE mode relies on Internet Explorer 11 to function, and removing it will cause IE mode to no longer work.

Since the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application is not available on Windows 11, the retirement of this browser only affects people using Windows 10 or earlier. Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 11.

In 1995, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 1.0 as an add-on to Windows 95. Later that year, IE 2.0 became the first Microsoft browser to offer Macintosh and Windows support. It remained a dominant browser throughout the ’90s, thanks to its tie to Windows and corporate use.

By 1999, Internet Explorer held 99% of the market. However, following a 2009 investigation, the European Commission fined Microsoft 561 million Euros ― more than $584 million in U.S. dollars ― for failing to offer users an easy way to choose their preferred web browser.

According to the Stat Counter, Google Chrome is currently the most popular web browser, with more than 64% of the market share. Fewer than 1% of internet users still use Internet Explorer as their web browser.