In its death announcement, Microsoft said Internet Explorer is slow, no longer practical for or compatible with many modern web tasks, and is far less secure than modern browsers.
Most Windows 10 PC owners probably never noticed that IE is installed on their computers. Edge, Microsoft’s modern browser, is based on Google’s open source Chrome code, and has gained much more traction than IE in recent years.
It’s unclear if Microsoft will stop installing IE on Windows PCs by default once the company discontinues support for IE, although that would be likely. Microsoft’s latest version of the Edge browser supports web apps built for IE so customers don’t have to keep switching between browsers. So IE has at long last outlived its usefulness.
“We are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge,” said Sean Lyndersay, Microsoft’s program manager for Edge. “Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications.”
Once a monopoly, now forgotten
But Microsoft failed to innovate, essentially leaving Internet Explorer 6 alone to gather dust and cobwebs for five years. That frustrated customers and sent them fleeing for greener pastures. Internet Explorer became synonymous with bugs, security problems and outdated technology.
The company tried to revitalize IE: With Internet Explorer 9 in 2011, Microsoft finally released a modern browser. Still, to this day IE still doesn’t support extensions, isn’t available on non-Windows devices and doesn’t sync with other devices by default — all mainstays of Chrome and Firefox.
Microsoft acknowledges that IE isn’t ideal for web browsing.
“Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today,” the company said last August. “Since then, open web standards and newer browsers — like the new Microsoft Edge — have enabled better, more innovative online experiences.”
That’s why, for the past five years, Microsoft has been trying — unsuccessfully — to kill Internet Explorer.