The Journey Ends for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Starting immediately, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer get support or security upgrades, and in the future, the browser will disappear from Windows 10 PCs via a Windows Update. 

The ancient Trident rendering engine in Internet Explorer 11 allows older websites to continue even if they don’t render correctly in newer browsers. 

Microsoft will offer Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge until 2029 for customers and companies who require it to view specific websites. However, it was never a part of any PCs running Windows 11.

Although the glory days of Internet Explorer are long gone, the entire narrative is fascinating. Google Chrome is the most popular browser on the planet, but it didn’t happen overnight. The browser wars have been cynical from the start, and they’re still going on today.

The Early Days of Internet Explorer

The origins of Internet Explorer may be traced back to NCSA Mosaic, one of the first graphical web browsers. On Windows PCs, Cello predated Mosaic, while Tim Berners-Nexus Lee’s project is often regarded as the first browser. In the 1990s, the ability to integrate visuals and text on the same page was groundbreaking.

Spyglass, Inc., which had built Netscape Navigator, licensed a version of Mosaic to Microsoft. By placing Microsoft’s name on an existing browser, Windows 95 helped Microsoft break into the browser business. Internet Explorer was one of these offshoots. Microsoft was one of the firms that licensed the Spyglass version of Mosaic; the corporation sought to swiftly enter the browser industry by placing its brand on an existing browser rather than developing one from the ground up.

The inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows by Microsoft was a double-edged sword; On the one hand, in 1996 and 1997, Internet Explorer’s market share increased substantially. In terms of market reach and cultural importance, the Mac was at its lowest point. Business Dads used Oddo specialized devices like Palm Pilots, Apple Newtons, and Pocket PCs.

Microsoft had a market share that even Google Chrome can’t equal when Internet Explorer 6 was introduced in 2001. Google Toolbar was undoubtedly the finest feature added to Internet Explorer in the early 2000s. Opera and Netscape were competitors, although their market share was negligible. Perhaps the stalemate was an indication of Microsoft’s internal development issues.

 The most successful browser in the short term was Mozilla Firefox, which rose from the ashes of the vanquished Netscape browser in late 2004 (after a couple of years of beta releases). Firefox popularized now-common features like tabbed browsing, an integrated search bar, and third-party extensions and themes, minor but notable additions that felt all the more revelatory after years of an unchanging Internet Explorer. 

Safari was developed on top of WebKit, an open-source browser engine that Apple released in 2005. When Google decided to make its browser, Chrome, it used WebKit. In 2003, Internet Explorer for Mac became the platform’s default browser, and Microsoft stopped developing it soon after. As part of a five-year deal with Apple, Microsoft invested $150 million in the company and pledged to support Office for Mac, while Apple designated Internet Explorer for Mac the platform’s default browser.

At the height of Google’s “don’t be evil” period, Chrome was released in 2008. Chrome had surpassed Firefox and Safari as the most popular desktop browser by the end of 2011. It dethroned Internet Explorer as the most-used desktop browser by the end of 2012, a position it has held ever since.

Microsoft did not remain immobile in the face of increased competition, but it also did not react swiftly. Internet Explorer 7 didn’t come out until 2006, five years after Internet Explorer 6. In 2009, Internet Explorer 8 was released, followed by Internet Explorer 9 in 2011, Internet Explorer 10 in 2012, and Internet Explorer 11 in 2013. None of them were able to slow or stop the browser’s decline.

Edge was a browser that ditched all of Internet Explorer’s other features. The functionality and website compatibility of the browser were behind the competition. Edge suffered as a result of Microsoft’s choice to only enable it on Windows 10, bypassing Windows 7 and 8. Edge was a browser with a new touchscreen interface and a new browser engine called EdgeHTML that preserved the blue E symbol but ditched everything else about Internet Explorer.

Microsoft’s Edge browser performed so poorly that it was eventually superseded by Internet Explorer, among many other browsers. Edge’s first-generation use share is never above 5%, and that’s just when evaluating desktop usage without taking into consideration mobile and tablet browsers. Google’s Chromium Edge would be a Microsoft-branded cover for a primarily Google-developed browser. In other words, it would be a Microsoft-branded shell around a mostly Google-developed browser, evoking Microsoft’s choice to license Mosaic rather than construct its browser from the ground up more than two decades ago.

But adopting Chromium came with advantages, including wide compatibility with websites, a competitive feature set, and the ability to take advantage of most of Chrome’s huge library of extensions. Microsoft Edge edged out Firefox for third place in browser market share, according to Atlas VPN data. And in conceding to Google, Microsoft has finally managed to find a foothold in the modern browser war. 

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