After 27 years, Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer

Image credit: Silicon Valley

The consumer version of Internet Explorer is being phased out by Microsoft.

Last year, it announced the plan, declaring Internet Explorer 11 to be the final version.

In 1995, Internet Explorer made its debut on Windows desktop computers, and by 2004, it had captured 95% of the market.

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are presently the most popular browsers.

Users that prefer to continue with Microsoft are referred to Microsoft Edge, which was released alongside Windows 10 in 2015.

The popularity of Internet Explorer was harmed by the release of faster browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, as people flocked to new apps to traverse platforms such as Google Search, Facebook, and YouTube.

The development of smartphones probably dealt the final blow, with Apple’s Safari browser pre-installed on iPhones and Google Chrome on Android phones helping to move internet access and usage to the mobile sphere.

According to StatCounter, an independent web analytics organisation, mobile and tablet internet usage surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time in October 2016.

According to StatCounter, Google Chrome now accounts for more than 60% of global desktop internet traffic, with Internet Explorer and Edge’s combined share of the desktop market slightly trailing Firefox for the first time.

For developers and people who need to use legacy programmes, Edge has an “IE mode” built-in.

Microsoft claims that previous versions of Windows, such as Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, and restricted versions of Windows 10, will continue to have access to its traditional desktop browser.

And, having been pre-installed on Windows machines for more than two decades, Internet Explorer’s legacy will undoubtedly carry on after its retirement.

Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, declared in 1995 that the release of Windows 95 – and with it, Internet Explorer – would be part of the company’s efforts to ride the “internet tidal wave.”

While his vision of “a microcomputer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software” may now seem a throwback to the dial-up era, Internet Explorer is sure to be recognised as one of the primary tools that moulded the way the internet is used and accessed even today.

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