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Pour one out, Microsoft retiring Internet Explorer after 25 years

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It’s the butt of many jokes and the bane of many a web developer, but after more than 25 years, Microsoft is finally bringing an end to its Internet Explorer browser and has announced that it will no longer be supported from June 15, 2022. This brings to an end one of the longest-running – and slowest – web browsers of all time.

Often described as the browser you use to download Chrome on, the truth is that Internet Explorer was a hugely important application for Microsoft when it launched back in 1995. Not only was it one of the first browsers in the world and the tool that gave many of us our first taste of the internet, but it integrated so well with so many different aspects of Windows and Micorosft tools, that people just didn’t seem to want to give it up.

Despite Microsoft themselves having moved on from Internet Explorer many years ago with their Edge browser, which has now been further improved with the new Chromium Edge browser and has become the default app for Windows 10 machines – people have continued to run IE. This has proven to be a pain for Microsoft and many other companies having to support the browser because of its continued high usage. With Microsoft finally choosing not to support it anymore, maybe we’ll finally see the big migration away from it that can encourage the rest of the web world to embrace newer technologies.

Microsoft has not revealed exactly what that end of support will look like, but things like it no longer having access to the broader Office 365 tools, security updates and having websites no longer support its outdated rendering methods are the key areas where you can expect people to persist with using IE, to miss out on. For companies though who are somehow still using tools that work best with the browser, Edge does support an IE mode that will still allow those sites to work as needed.

As much as we might look at the browser with disdain now, it was revolutionary for its time and Microsoft can look back on it fondly as a big success, even if it eventually was surpassed by its rivals.

Last Updated: May 21, 2021

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