Internet Explorer will be permanently retired after operating for more than a quarter of a century.

Redmond-based Microsoft has confirmed it will phase out Internet Explorer due to a lack of user interest.

“The Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10,” Microsoft Edge Partner Group Program Manager Sean Lyndersay said in a blog post.

The browser reportedly struggled to inspire internet surfers for many years since its initial fanfare after being launched in 1995. The software once enjoyed a 90 percent market share when the Windows XP operating system was widely used, which helped topple competitor Netscape Navigator.

However, Internet Explorer proved no match for the rebranded Mozilla Firefox and rivalling Google Chrome, which became increasingly popular. Application and utilities developers have increasingly added features from Internet Explorer and even transcended these capabilities.

Microsoft also fell behind competitors that avidly adhered to web standards and rolled out more frequent software updates. The BL understands in the past decade Google provided 70 Chrome upgrades compared to Microsoft’s four upgrades since the 8th and last version of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft realized this downward trend and responded by transitioning Internet Explorer users to its newer Edge browser.

“Over the last year, you may have noticed our movement away from Internet Explorer (IE) support, such as an announcement of the end of IE support by Microsoft 365 online services,” Lyndersay said. “We are at the next stage of that journey: we are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge.”

The company promised businesses, which still use Internet Explorer for websites and applications, will still be able to use the same interface in Edge until at least 2029.

Microsoft launched IE Mode for Microsoft Edge to allow organizations that use the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser to access outdated websites. Legacy ActiveX controls still work in IE Mode, which many companies still used at the time of publication.

“Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than IE but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications,” Lyndersay said. “Microsoft Edge has IE mode built in, so you can access those legacy IE-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”

Internet Explorer will continue to be supported in Windows 10’s Long Term Service Channel. However, the browser will be removed from all consumer versions of the operating system.

Last November, the Microsoft Teams video-conferencing platform permanently buried Internet Explorer according to the National Public Radio.

Historical demise of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer loses market share on Nov. 9, 2005. (Tristan Nitot Screenshot via The BL/Flickr)

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