Valentine’s Day marked the end of a long relationship for Microsoft—as a new update has officially disabled Internet Explorer after 28 years of operation.
- Internet Explorer has been permanently disabled on Microsoft computers going forward, in a new update that will be rolled out over the coming days and weeks.
- Internet Explorer was launched in 1995 and released 11 versions through 2013.
- The company put out its replacement browser Microsoft Edge on April 29, 2015, and ended update support for Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022. It previously announced the retirement of Internet Explorer in May 2021.
- Going forward, any attempt to access Internet Explorer on Windows 10 or Windows 11 computers will redirect to Microsoft Edge. However, the app and certain features will remain supported by specific versions of Internet Explorer 11 through 2029.
- The app’s taskbar icon will be removed in a June 13 update.
Why It’s Important
Tuesday’s update marketed the end of an era for one of the most prolific and essential computer programs in the short history of the internet. At its height, Internet Explorer held a near total monopoly over the internet, with a 95% market share for internet browsers in 2003—so much so that AOL sued Microsoft for monopolistic business practices and won.
However, the internet has changed considerably over the past 30 years. Internet Explorer has long since been abandoned by most internet users. Google Chrome currently holds a 65% market share over internet browsers, followed by Safari (19%), Microsoft Edge (4%), and Firefox (3%).
As LifeHacker notes, the decision could have a negative impact on older parts of the internet, as some older websites don’t load in newer browsers such as Google Chrome. The app was severely outdated and lacked modern features, giving Microsoft an incentive to migrate fully to its new browser.
“The change to using the Microsoft Edge update to disable [Internet Explorer] is intended to provide a better user experience and help organizations transition their last remaining [Internet Explorer 11] users to Microsoft Edge,” says Microsoft.