In all fairness, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Once the most ubiquitous if notoriously error prone browser best known as the top browser for downloading Chrome, Microsoft made the decision last year that they would stop supporting Internet Explorer by June 15, 2022 in favor of getting Windows users to make the transition to their newer Edge browser which they first introduced in 2015.
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“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,” general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, Sean Lyndersay, wrote in a May 2021 blog post announcing the news. According to Microsoft, Edge will come with an Internet Explorer mode built-in that will help keep newer Windows systems compatible with websites and applications that were built on the now antiquated browser.
First launched in 1995, Internet Explorer was at one point one of the most popular web browsers, quickly edging out its predecessor Netscape Navigator and occupying a 90% share of the market around the turn of the millennium at its peak. At the time, Internet Explorer was one of the easiest and most accessible ways to interface with the uncharted waters of the early world wide web. Microsoft's decision to make Internet Explorer the default browser for Windows resulted in more than a few antitrust lawsuits with the Justice Department and European regulators during its prime.
However, Internet Explorer's monopoly on the web browser market has steadily waned in recent years with Google's Chrome rapidly overtaking it. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chrome currently dominates the market with a roughly 66% share, followed by Apple's Safari with a 19% share and Edge just squeaking past Mozilla's Firefox at 4% with Internet Explorer having an abysmal 0.28%.
Internet denizens mourned the passing of Internet Explorer with a healthy dose of memes, jokes about slow loading speeds and some tasteful Clippy art.
“This is the best internet explorer joke I came across. Took a sec for me to get the joke . Internet Explorer shut down from today after 27 years of exploring.💀”
\u201cThis is the best internet explorer joke I came across. Took a sec for me to get the joke .\n\nInternet Explorer shut down from today after 27 years of exploring.\ud83d\udc80\u201d— \ud835\udc7d\ud835\udc8a\ud835\udc8f\ud835\udc86\ud835\udc86\ud835\udc95 :) (@\ud835\udc7d\ud835\udc8a\ud835\udc8f\ud835\udc86\ud835\udc86\ud835\udc95 :)) 1655278850
\u201cLonesome Dove:The Outlaw Years was one of my first jobs back in 1995. It\u2019s been a crazy 27 years and I can\u2019t imagine doing it without you, Internet Explorer. The show didn\u2019t deserve another season but you sure did\u2026\n#BringBackInternetExplorer @microsoft\u201d— Ryan Reynolds (@Ryan Reynolds) 1655323192
Photo via Getty/ Costfoto/ Future Publishing