Internet Explorer is finally hitting the road.
Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that legions of web surfers loved to hate — and a few still claim to love it. The 27-year-old application now joins BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems, and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of tech history.
The death of IE was no surprise. A year ago, Microsoft said it would end Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022 and push users to the Edge browser, which launched in 2015.
The company made it clear it was time to move on.
“Microsoft Edge is not only a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it can also address a key concern: compatibility for older, outdated websites and applications,” wrote Microsoft Edge Enterprise General Manager Sean Lyndersay. in a May 2021 blog post.
Users flagged down Explorer on Twitter, with some calling it a “bug-ridden, insecure POS” or the “top browser for installing other browsers.” For others, it was a moment for nostalgic 90s memes, while The Wall Street Journal quoted one 22-year-old who was sad to see IE go.
Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, the antediluvian era of web surfing dominated by the first very popular browser, Netscape Navigator. Its launch marked the beginning of the end of Navigator: Microsoft came to tie IE and its ubiquitous Windows operating system so closely together that many people just used it by default instead of Navigator.
The Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1997 for violating an earlier consent decree by requiring computer makers to use their browser as a condition of using Windows. It eventually agreed to settle the 2002 antitrust lawsuit over using its Windows monopoly to crush competitors. It also ran afoul of European regulators who said linking Internet Explorer to Windows gave it an unfair advantage over rivals such as Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera and Google’s Chrome.