SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — The Internet Explorer browser is being retired.
Microsoft will no longer support Internet Explorer, the once-dominant browser that legions of web surfers loved to despise — and a few still profess to enjoy — as of Wednesday. The 27-year-old application has gone the way of BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems, and Palm Pilots.
The death of Internet Explorer was expected. Microsoft announced a year ago that Internet Explorer would be phased out on June 15, 2022, and that users would be sent to its Edge browser, which debuted in 2015. It was evident at that point that it was time to move on, according to the corporation.
In a May 2021 blog post, Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote, “Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it can also address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications.”
On Twitter, users mourned Explorer’s demise, calling it a “bug-ridden, insecure POS” or the “top browser for installing other browsers.” Others used it as fodder for 90′s nostalgia memes, while The Wall Street Journal quoted a 22-year-old who expressed regret at the end of Internet Explorer.
In 1995, Microsoft published the first version of Internet Explorer, ushering in a bygone era of online surfing dominated by Netscape Navigator, the first widely used browser. Its release marked the beginning of the end for Navigator: Microsoft moved on to fully integrate IE with its widely used Windows operating system, to the point where many people simply used it by default instead of Navigator.
In 1997, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that it had violated a previous consent agreement by mandating computer manufacturers to use its browser as a condition of adopting Windows. In 2002, it agreed to settle an antitrust lawsuit over its use of its Windows monopoly to stifle competitors. It also had a squabble with European regulators, who claimed that linking Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair edge over competitors like Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera, and Google’s Chrome.
Meanwhile, users claimed that Internet Explorer was slow, prone to crashes, and subject to hacking. As users discovered more appealing options, IE’s market share, which was over 90% in the early 2000s, began to dwindle.
According to internet analytics firm Stat counter, the Chrome browser currently has a 65 percent share of the global browser market, followed by Apple’s Safari with 19 percent. Edge, the heir to Internet Explorer, comes in second with roughly 4%, just ahead of Firefox.