Internet Explorer, the browser that introduced many consumers to the concept of internet browsing, is being retired. Microsoft shifted its energies toward supporting Microsoft Edge since 2015, but now the company is officially withdrawing support and will be shepherding any remaining IE users toward the Edge browser.
The Verge reports that over the coming months, any of the few users still on IE will get a prompt redirecting them to Edge. After that, a future Windows update will permanently disable Internet Explorer. The spirit of IE will live on, though, as Edge has its own “IE mode,” for the sake of supporting older web apps that require Internet Explorer. Microsoft will continue to support IE mode through at least 2029.
Most consumers have moved on from IE, with the browser now commanding less than half of one percent of all market share. Google Chrome is by far the highest, at around 65% according to StatCounter. But companies and even countries that have been slow to change might be impacted by this shift. Some government agencies in Japan, like the Japan Pension Service, still require Edge’s IE mode.
For better or worse, though, Internet Explorer is a huge part of internet history, and another part of the legacy of older internet tools dying out, like Flash. Internet Explorer was the default browser for the most common operating system for years, and as a result, it’s how many people first experienced the internet. So take a moment today in memory of the browser that is, like all things, dust in the wind.