Microsoft has announced the retirement of Internet Explorer – one of the most important pieces of software in the history of the World Wide Web.
In a blog post, Microsoft says it will officially halt support for the classic web browser from June 15 2022, within certain versions of Windows 10.
The company has been putting all its eggs in the Edge basket for a while now and believes it’s time to move everyone to the Chromium-based browser whether they like it or not.
In arguing “the future of Internet Explorer is Edge”, the company explains that the newer browser, launched with Windows 10, has an IE mode that will continue to support older sites and apps.
“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,” writes Partner Group Program Manager for Edge, Sean Lyndersay. “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.”
Microsoft says the reasoning comes down to improved compatibility with everything on the web, Edge’s productivity benefits and, quite simply, that Edge is a better browser overall for use on the best laptops and best smartphones.
At the beginning of 2020 Microsoft made its rebuilt, Chrome-based version of Edge available to all Windows 10 users promising greater speed, the ability to stream 4K video and the opportunity to install Google Chrome extensions.
According to the Global Stats Statcounter, neither Edge nor IE are pulling up and trees when it comes to market share. Chrome remains dominant on all platforms, accounting for around 66% of web traffic overall. Apple’s Safari was next with 18%, with Edge picking up just over 3% of traffic at the moment. As of April this year, the all-platform figures saw IE account for less than 1% of traffic.
So, if Internet Explorer goes away next year, is anyone going to be around to see it?