Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Retires Today, After 27 Years

Microsoft has today finally pulled the plug on its veteran Internet Explorer web browser, with its official retirement as of Wednesday 15 June 2022.

From tomorrow, the browser should be disabled and Windows users will instead be redirected to Microsoft’s Edge browser.

This has been a long time coming. In May 2021 Microsoft confirmed it would retire the ancient web browser on 15 June 2022.

Internet Explorer

Redmond had last updated IE in 2013, when it released Internet Explorer 11.

Then in 2015 the Edge browser (formerly Project Spartan) became Windows 10’s default browser, and Microsoft began hinting at IE’s eventual demise, when it warned customers that support for older versions of Internet Explorer would be phased out.

In January 2016 Microsoft officially stopped supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.

Microsoft Teams then stopped working with IE in Autumn 2020, and Microsoft 365 apps (including Office) no longer worked on IE from mid-summer 2021.

Want to know more about the history of Internet Explorer? Read our Tales In Tech History IE article.

People that still use applications exclusive to Internet Explorer 11, had to access those apps via Edge’s Internet Explorer mode.

But the reality is that Internet Explorer is still used by a tiny minority.

According to Statcounter, as of May 2022, 66.2 percent of desktop browsers worldwide use Chrome, 10.1 percent use Edge, and 9.1 percent use Safari.

Firefox has 7.6 percent and Opera has 2.8 percent.

Internet Explorer only has 1.65 percent worldwide desktop browser market share.

Browser wars

Microsoft has launched its free Internet Explorer browser way back in 1995.

It was at the time Redmond’s answer to the 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.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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