Goodbye Internet Explorer: Microsoft retires the once-dominant browser

Its market share has plunged amid tough competition from the likes of Google Chrome

As of Wednesday, Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant Internet Explorer browser. AP
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Internet Explorer is set to settle into the technology graveyard.

The Microsoft browser was first released in 1995 during an era of dial-up modems and well before the launch of smartphones and iPads.

It was offered with the technology company’s Windows operating system that came pre-installed in millions of computers.

In the early 1990s, its market share was at more than 90 per cent but faster rivals such as Google Chrome and Firefox moved in and gradually took over.

In May, Chrome accounted for 65 per cent of the market compared to Safari's 19 per cent and Mozilla Firefox's 3.26 per cent, according to data from Statcounter.

Meanwhile, Internet Explorer accounted for only 0.64 per cent, the same percentage as in 2021.

Microsoft confirmed last year that Internet Explorer 11 — the latest version — “will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10".

Microsoft deems the future to be tied to its Edge browser, which was launched in 2015.

“Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications,” Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, said in a blog post.

“Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode [“IE mode”] built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”

However, ending the Internet Explorer application could cause problems for businesses in Japan, according to a Bloomberg report.

A survey in March found that 49 per cent of companies in Japan still use Internet Explorer. Among them, the most common use was for in-house management, data exchange and accounting systems.

All of those should have been updated or transitioned to different software in the time since Microsoft announced the retirement plans for Internet Explorer a year ago, but according to local media reports, many companies have failed to take action so far.

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Updated: June 16, 2022, 4:04 AM
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