If you first hopped on the internet in the 90s, chances are that Internet Explorer was your first browser. Microsoft did everything it could to make sure that was the case, which got it in hot water with regulators. It didn’t even do Microsoft any good over the long haul. Internet Explorer fell behind more capable browsers like Chrome and Firefox ages ago, and Microsoft is finally retiring the aging browser in 2022.
Microsoft released Internet Explorer in 1995, and it was the company’s primary internet product all the way through the launch of Edge in 2015. That was only six years ago, but that’s an eternity on the internet. Microsoft has already tried to force Edge on everyone, given up, and redesigned the browser from the ground up. It’s clear Internet Explorer doesn’t have a place in Microsoft’s online efforts with its clunky old rendering engine. After the shutdown, Internet Explorer will no longer be available on any consumer version of Windows 10.
Microsoft is framing this as a transition to Edge rather than the end of Internet Explorer. It points out that Edge has better compatibility with the modern web, better productivity features, and improved security. The new Chromium-based Edge isn’t the most popular browser in the world, but at least it runs on modern technology.
Anyone still using Internet Explorer 11 at home can continue to do so for now. Microsoft isn’t pulling the plug immediately, but support will end on June 15, 2022. That means no more updates or security patches. The longer you use IE beyond that date, the riskier it will become. The web will also continue moving on without IE, making it an even worse experience than it already is.
You don’t need to wait for the big day next year to switch. Anyone who is still, for some reason, using Internet Explorer should make the switch to Edge as soon as humanly possible. Luckily, Windows 10 should have Edge installed already, so the transition will be quick for people using the roughly 1 billion systems running Microsoft’s latest software. Microsoft says the process of moving to Edge should be painless, as it can import your bookmarks, history, passwords, settings, and even sign-in state for websites. Edge even has an IE mode that can run websites designed specifically for Microsoft’s old browser, which should be very few sites these days.
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