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Internet Explorer is nearing the end of a long and slow death, Microsoft announced this week.
At the age of 25, the highly vilified web browser that once dominated the internet couldn’t shake its reputation as a slow, buggy option for surfing the internet.
Microsoft has been backing off the product since at least 2015 when it introduced its successor, Microsoft Edge (formerly known as Project Spartan). The Internet Explorer desktop app will finally come to rest in mid-June next year.
In the browser’s obituary notice the company said“The future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 lies in Microsoft Edge.”
The company says Microsoft Edge is faster, more secure, and compatible with early Internet websites – features its predecessor slandered for lack of features.
Microsoft 365, the company’s subscription-based app bundle, will be saying goodbye to the browser in August. The video conferencing platform Microsoft Teams buried Internet Explorer last November.
But within the new browser, the spirit of Internet Explorer lives on for those who want to believe: Edge offers a built-in Internet Explorer mode.
While it may seem strange to young people whose Internet experience doesn’t center around the blue “e” symbol, Explorer was once considered an inexorable part of a monopoly.
When Windows introduced Explorer in 1995, its success killed the once premier Netscape Navigator. At its peak in the early 2000s, Explorer controlled 95% of the browser market.
However, Microsoft couldn’t keep up with the competition and lost user respect for poor security, botched websites, and indolence.
But Explorer refused to die. Microsoft tried to revive its image by recognizing the browser’s bad reputation. In 2012 it started a playful advertising campaign Rebranding Explorer as “the browser you loved to hate.”
Indeed, his lousy picture served as meme fodder: a browser that is too slow to load the messages from him Demiseor the best browser to download a superior one.
In an “Ask Me Anything” discussion on Reddit in 2014, Microsoft engineers who worked on the browser said the company did so debated renaming Researchers to “get rid of negative perceptions that our product no longer reflects today”.
But it was too late – the damage was done. Frustrated users had already come to Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome. Also in 2015 AdWeek Kristina Monllos told NPR that an expiration date was overdue for the contested browser.
Google Chrome is now the leading browser with a 64% share of the world market Browser tracker StatCounter, while Edge users sit at under 4%.
On social media, people familiar with Explorer paid tribute to a faulty browser. “Internet Explorer is reliably unreliable, what a legacy,” wrote the Twitter user Adriana Figueroa. Others were surprised that Explorer was still kicking.
Next summer, in the nostalgic graveyard of the Internet’s past, Internet Explorer will join other bad-mouthed services following the fate of the company’s Hotmail and its notoriously annoying Windows Mascot “Clippy”.