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Internet Explorer is no more. Photo: Getty Images.

Internet Explorer, the once supremely popular web browser, is officially retired

After 27 years, Microsoft’s initial web browser will be no more, as users will be redirected to the newer Microsoft Edge.

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Microsoft has announced that it will no longer support Internet Explorer, as of June 15.

This marks the end of a 27-year run for the once popular web browser. Microsoft first announced the decision to retire the web browser in May 2021. 

“Internet Explorer’s reputation today is, deservedly, one of a product from an older era—quirky in behavior and lacking the security of a modern browser,” wrote Sean Lyndersay, general manager at the company. 

Internet Explorer debuted onto the scene in 1995, and became an instant hit. Its first widely popular browser was Netscape Navigator. At its peak in 2002, the browser commanded 95% of the market. 

However, that same year, Mozilla Firefox was launched and a year later, Apple Safari came onto the scene. Google Chrome then made its debut in 2008. 

As the three other browsers burst onto the scene, the level of competition intensified. Internet Explorer gradually lost its luster, as Firefox, Safari, and Chrome increased in its usage rates and popularity. 

“The web has evolved and so have browsers. Incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn’t match the general improvements to the web at large, so we started fresh,” said Lyndersay. 

According to internet analytics company Statcounter, Chrome currently dominates the worldwide browser market with 65% of the share, followed by Safari with 19%, and Firefox at 4%.

While Internet Explorer will no longer exist, Microsoft’s Windows browser is not going away entirely. 

Users will be redirected to Microsoft Edge, which was introduced in 2015.

“Microsoft Edge is a faster, more secure and modern browser—the best browser for Windows—designed for today’s internet,” said Lyndersay.

Over the next few months, the Internet Explorer icon will remain on devices, but once clicked, Microsoft Edge will open with easy access to IE mode. 

As part of the redirection process, users will have their data, such as favorites, passwords and settings, imported from Internet Explorer. 

IE mode is also especially useful for websites that only work with Internet Explorer.

Microsoft’s decision to end its support for Internet Explorer marks the end of an era for many users who came of age during the breakthrough of the internet, and now joins BlackBerry and other once-popular devices and platforms. 

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