These days, Internet Explorer is more of a victim of memes than a web browser. Once upon a time, the browser controlled the roost, but it has quickly faded away, much like Blockbuster. Microsoft appears to believe that Internet Explorer is a relic of the 1990s, as TimesNow claims that the web browser will be permanently discontinued on June 15.
For quite some time, Microsoft has been plotting the end of Internet Explorer. A year ago, the tech giant revealed that Internet Explorer would be phased out on June 15, a three-year delay from the original intention to phase it out in 2025. It may seem ironic that the browser’s demise has been hastened, yet the web browser that first appeared in 1995 will soon be gone.
In 1995, Internet Explorer made its debut as a paid add-on for Windows 95 users, and the browser would go on to dominate web browsing in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With an estimated 95 percent usage share in 2003, the browser reached its pinnacle.
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The popularity of Internet Explorer has been steadily declining since its peak in 2003. Whereas once Internet Explorer was the be-all and end-all of web surfing, whether it was updating your MySpace profile or checking out the latest movies on some new site called YouTube (which allegedly is doing rather well these days), competitors such as Google Chrome swiftly surpassed it. Now, Internet Explorer is synonymous with poor connections and shaky security, and it hasn’t been updated since 2016.
Microsoft cited a lack of development as one of the reasons for shutting down the browser. However, Internet Explorer’s decline is primarily due to its younger browser brother, Microsoft Edge. “Microsoft Edge is the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10,” says Sean Lyndersay, Microsoft Edge Program Manager. What does the future hold for Internet Explorer? Will the browser be rewarded in the afterlife?
There’s no need to worry if you’re one of the few people who still uses Internet Explorer as their primary browser (likely a small percentage of the population), because nothing will be lost on June 15. “Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (‘IE mode’) built in, so you can browse those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge,” says Sean Lyndersay. This is excellent news for the less than 2% of internet users who still use Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer’s market share of less than 2% (as of May 2022, according to StatCounter) demonstrates how far the browser has fallen. The broader usage statistics also show how difficult it is for Microsoft to create a viable online browsing alternative to today’s primary competitors. Google Chrome has a whopping 64.95 percent share of the browser market share in May 2022.
Chrome is far ahead of the competition, with Safari in second position with 19.01 percent and Microsoft Edge in third place with 3.99 percent. While Chrome appears to be the ruler of the web in the present era, 90s kids, millennials, and other nostalgic folk will be pleased to learn that Chrome’s 64.95 percent market share is still well below Internet Explorer’s peak of 95 percent in 2003.