Goodbye Internet Explorer! You Will Not Be Missed (But Your Legacy Will Be Remembered)

After 27 years, Microsoft has finally said goodbye to the Internet Explorer web browser and will direct Explorer users to the latest version of its Edge browser.

As of June 15, Microsoft ended support for Explorer on several versions of Windows 10, which means no more performance, reliability, or security updates. Explorer will remain a working browser, but will not be protected as new threats emerge.

Twenty-seven years is a long time in calculations. Many would say this move was long overdue. Explorer has long outperformed its competitors, and years of poor user experience have made it the subject of many internet jokes.

How did it start?

Explorer was first introduced in 1995 by Microsoft Corporation and was bundled with the Windows operating system.

To its credit, Explorer introduced many Windows users to the joys of the Internet for the first time. After all, it wasn’t until 1993 that the father of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee, Released the first public web browser (aptly named WorldWideWeb).

Providing Explorer as the default browser meant that most of Windows’ global user base would have no alternative. But it was worth it, and Microsoft ended up bumping into a few antitrust investigations exploring its monopoly in the browser market.

However, although number of other browsers (including Netscape Navigator, which pre-dated Explorer), Explorer remained the default choice for millions of people until around 2002, when Firefox was launched.

How did it end?

Microsoft has released version 11 of Explorer (with many minor revisions along the way). It has added various features and components with each release. However, it lost consumer confidence due to the Explorer’s “legacy architecture”, which included poor design and slowness.

It seems that Microsoft was so comfortable with its monopoly that it allowed the quality of its products to slip, just as other competitors entered the fray.

Even considering its cosmetic interface (what you see and interact with when you visit a site), Explorer can’t provide users with the real experience. modern websites.

In terms of safety, the Explorer showed its fair share of weaknesseswhich cybercriminals readily and successfully exploited.

While Microsoft may have ironed out many of these vulnerabilities across different browser versions, the underlying architecture is still considered vulnerable by security experts. Microsoft itself has recognized this

… [Explorer] still based on 25-year-old technology. This is an old browser that is architecturally outdated and unable to meet the security challenges of the modern web.

These concerns have led the United States Department of Homeland Security repeatedly advising Internet users against it using Explorer.

Explorer’s failure to appeal to modern audiences is made more apparent by Microsoft’s continued attempts to push users to Edge. Edge was first introduced in 2015, and since then Explorer has only been used as a compatibility solution.

What was the Explorer up against?

In sum market share, over 64% of browser users currently use Chrome. Explorer fell to less than 1%, and even Edge accounts for about 4% of users. What made Chrome such a breakthrough in the browser market?

Chrome was first introduced by Google in 2008 as an open source Chromium projectand has since been actively developed and supported.

Being open source means that the software is publicly available and anyone can check the source code behind it. Individuals can even contribute to the source code, thereby increasing the productivity, reliability and security of the software. This was never an option with the Explorer.

Furthermore, Chrome is cross-platform. it can be used on other operating systems such as Linux, MacOS and mobile devices, and supported a number of systems long before Edge was released.

Whereas the Explorer has mostly was limited Windows, XBox and several versions of MacOS.

Under the hood

Microsoft’s Edge browser uses the same Chromium: open source code that Chrome has used since its inception. This is encouraging, but it remains to be seen how Edge will compete against Chrome and other browsers to win users’ trust.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft can’t get customers to use Edge as their favorite browser. Recent statistics show that Edge is still far behind Chrome in terms of market share.

Also, the fact that it took Microsoft seven years to retire Explorer after the initial release of Edge shows that the company hasn’t had much success in the Edge adoption process.

The screenshot of microsoft's web page showing internet explorer has been removed.
Only certain Microsoft operating systems (primarily server platforms) will continue to receive Explorer security updates under long-term support agreements.

What’s next?

Web browsers play a vital role in ensuring user privacy and security. Design and usability are important factors for users when choosing a browser. So, in the end, users will be won over by the browser that can most effectively balance security and ease of use.

And it’s hard to say whether Chrome’s current popularity will hold up over time. Google will no doubt want it to continue because web browsers are significant sources of income.

But Google as a corporation is becoming increasingly obscene due to massive data collection and intrusive advertising practices. Chrome is a major part of Google’s data collection machine, so it’s possible that users will slowly drift away.

As for what to do with Explorer (if you’re one of the few people who still have it sitting meekly on your desktop), just uninstall it is to avoid security risks.

Even if you don’t use Explorer, just install it could present threat to your device. No one wants to be the victim of a cyber attack with a dead browser.

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