Internet Explorer has died. After nearly 27 years, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was decommissioned on Wednesday. With support for IE 11 being formally terminated yesterday, the old web browser was being phased out in favour of Microsoft Edge. It’s the end of an era for the internet, as Microsoft abandoned the Internet Explorer moniker with the release of Windows 10 in 2015.
There aren’t many changes for customers. Internet Explorer’s usage has dropped dramatically in recent years, with StatCounter reporting that IE now has less than a 5% market share of all browsers. For years, Microsoft has worked to discourage users from using IE. And referring to it as a “compatibility solution” rather than a browser that businesses should actively use.
Microsoft will redirect IE users to Microsoft Edge
Over the next few months, Microsoft will begin rolling out a new prompt that will redirect those still using Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge. As part of a future Windows update, IE will be permanently disabled. More information on how Microsoft is dealing with the removal of IE from Windows can be found here.
Edge’s IE mode helps businesses use apps which require the Internet Explorer
Even though Microsoft has moved to the Chromium-based Edge as Windows 11’s default browser, the MSHTML engine that powers Internet Explorer is still included. It exists solely for Microsoft Edge’s IE mode, and Microsoft plans to support it through 2029 at least.
Businesses have generally shifted to Edge’s IE mode for online apps and sites that require IE. This IE mode for Edge was established by Microsoft in 2019. And it supports older ActiveX controls that are still used by many legacy sites. IE will remain on in spirit through this mode, but there will be no more Internet Explorer cakes.
Some businesses will be caught off guard by the Internet Explorer’s retirement, or may not be able to completely phase out its use in time. Some government departments and financial institutions in Japan have been reluctant to respond to the IE retirement, according to Nikkei. The Japan Pension Service website, for example, must still be accessed in Edge’s IE mode.
Thousands of comparable enterprises and instances of IE usage are expected to exist throughout the world. For years, Microsoft has been warning of yesterday’s Internet Explorer retirement. And it’s still being cautious with alerts and redirection until the browser is completely eliminated in the coming months.
Internet Explorer isn’t an issue for Windows 11
IE isn’t an issue for Windows 11 users because it doesn’t even come with an accessible version. It’s the first time in more than two decades that Microsoft hasn’t included IE with a new version of Windows. The infamous United States v. Microsoft antitrust case and the European Commission’s action against Microsoft culminated in a browser ballot inside specific versions of Windows as a result of that bundling decision.