Netizens welcomed the disappearance of Explorer on Twitter, recalling in particular that it was “the best browser to install other browsers”. (Photo: 123RF)
San Francisco – Internet Explorer can finally enjoy its well-deserved retirement.
Starting Wednesday, Microsoft will no longer support the former undisputed heavyweight champion of browsers that millions of netizens hated—and that some still claim to love.
Launched 27 years ago, the application will enter the catacombs of technology alongside BlackBerry devices, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots.
Explorer’s disappearance is not surprising. A year ago, Microsoft announced its retirement on June 15, 2022, encouraging internet users to adopt the Edge browser, launched in 2015.
The company has clearly announced that the time has come to move on.
“Microsoft Edge not only offers a faster, safer and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but also solves an important problem: compatibility with legacy websites and applications,” Microsoft Edge Enterprise General Manager Sean Lyndersay had indicated in a blog in May 2021.
Netizens welcomed the disappearance of Explorer on Twitter, recalling in particular that it was “the best browser to install other browsers”.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, a prehistoric time when Netscape Navigator was the Internet users’ favorite. Its appearance marked the beginning of the end for Navigator: Microsoft eventually tied Explorer and its Windows operating system so tightly together that many just started using it as the default instead of Navigator.
The Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1997, accusing it of imposing its browser as a condition of using Windows. An agreement was finally reached in 2002. Microsoft also had a row with European regulators, who claimed that the unification of Explorer and Windows Explorer gave it an unfair advantage over competitors like Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Opera and Chrome.
Meanwhile, users complained about Explorer’s slowness, crashing propensity, and vulnerability to cyberattacks. Its market share, which exceeded 90% in the early 2000s, began to decline as Internet users discovered more attractive alternatives.
Today, according to Statcounter, Chrome ranks first with about 65% of the global browser market, ahead of Apple’s Safari with 19%. Edge lags far behind at 4%, just ahead of Firefox.