Redmond will cease support for Internet Explorer 11 in mid June next year, over a quarter of a century since IE was first launched
Microsoft has this week confirmed when exactly the plug will be finally pulled on its veteran Internet Explorer web browser.
Internet Explorer was launched way back in 1995, as Redmond’s answer to the then mighty Netscape Navigator, which was the leading web browser of its time.
In 1996 Netscape Navigator made up 90 percent of the browser market, but IE soon became the default choice for many, thanks to its free inclusion in the Windows 95 operating system.
For the record, rivals such as Mozilla’s Firefox browser was only launched in 2004, whereas the Google Chrome browser only arrived in 2008.
The last iteration of Internet Explorer (IE11) was launched back in 2013, but a lot has changed over the past seven years, with the online world becoming increasingly sophisticated and the arrival of open web standards (HTML5 etc).
In January 2016 Microsoft officially stopped supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.
Four years later in August 2020, Microsoft signaled the end of using Internet Explorer for its own products.
Microsoft Teams stopped working with IE last Autumn, and Microsoft 365 apps (including Office) will no longer work on IE by mid-summer 2021.
Want to know more about the history of Internet Explorer? Read our Tales In Tech History IE article.
But this week Microsoft has given a clear end date for Internet Explorer, in a blog post stressing the future of Internet Explorer lay within the Microsoft Edge browser, which has IE mode built in.
Microsoft confirmed it will end support for Internet Explorer 11 on 15 June 2022.
“Over the last year, you may have noticed our movement away from Internet Explorer (“IE”) support, such as an announcement of the end of IE support by Microsoft 365 online services,” blogged Microsoft. “Today, we are at the next stage of that journey: we are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge.”
“With Microsoft Edge capable of assuming this responsibility and more, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10,” said Microsoft.
Microsoft had continued to ship IE with Windows to ensure that corporate apps keep functioning properly.
In April this year Analytics firm StatCounter revealed that Google Chrome is still the top web browser for the desktop browser market share, with a very healthy 67.14 percent share.
Apple Safari had a 10.13 percent share, with Microsoft Edge now in third at 8.04 percent.
Unfortunately, Firefox’s market share slipped to 7.97 percent.
Opera has 2.61 percent and Internet Explorer incredibly was still used by 1.71 percent of people.