Users will continue to see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices, but clicking on it will open the Edge browser.
It is the end of an era as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has retired after 25 years of existence. While there are several memes doing the rounds–many mocking the end of the Internet Explorer– Microsoft itself has announced it will be redirecting users to its Edge browser.
The software giant is cutting off support for the product from Wednesday 15 June. Internet Explorer (IE) has a clear but contested part in internet history. It was once so dominant that it attracted the attention of US regulators, but became hated by many users and was eventually replaced by Edge.
The blog post by Sean Lyndersay, General Manager, Microsoft Edge Enterprise, acknowledges that Internet Explorer has not quite kept up with the times. It notes that the product has a reputation of one “from an older era—quirky in behavior and lacking the security of a modern browser.”
It is not surprising to see Microsoft push the Edge browser, which launched for Windows 10 and Xbox One back in 2015. The browser has since then made its way to Android and iOS as well. But do keep in mind that it has not quite enjoyed the success that Microsoft would have hoped. Google’s Chrome browser continues to dominate the market, followed by Apple’s Safari.
Microsoft also confirmed in the blog post that there will be an Internet Explorer mode built into Edge. This will allow users to use sites and web applications that are only supported by Explorer, including site support for functionality like ActiveX controls.
“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,” Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote in a May 2021 blog post heralding the final closure date.
The post adds, “over the next few months, opening Internet Explorer will progressively redirect users to our new modern browser, Microsoft Edge with IE mode.”
Users will continue to see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices, but clicking on it will open the Edge browser. “Eventually, Internet Explorer will be disabled permanently as part of a future Windows Update, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on users’ devices will be removed,” adds the blog.
When this does happen, user data such as favorites, passwords and settings will be imported from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft’s announcement covers all supported versions of Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, Edu, and IoT. Internet Explorer has already been removed from Windows 11.
I.E. will not be immediately removed on all these versions but users will be progressively redirected to Microsoft Edge on all these devices over the next few months.
The company has committed to supporting IE mode in Microsoft Edge through at least 2029.