Internet Explorer is no longer available. After nearly 27 years, Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer. With support for IE 11 being formally terminated today, the old web browser is being phased out in favor of Microsoft Edge. After moving away from the Internet Explorer branding with the introduction of Windows 10 in 2015, it’s the end of an era on the internet.
There aren’t many changes for customers. Internet Explorer’s usage has dropped dramatically in recent years, with StatCounter reporting that IE now has less than a 5% market share of all browsers. For years, Microsoft has worked to discourage users from using Internet Explorer, referring to it as a “compatibility solution” rather than a browser that businesses should actively use.
Over the next several months, Microsoft will begin rolling out a new popup that will move anyone still using Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge. As part of a future Windows upgrade, Internet Explorer will be permanently deactivated. More information on how Microsoft is dealing with the withdrawal of Internet Explorer from Windows may be found here.
While Microsoft’s Edge, which is powered by Chromium, is now the default browser in Windows 11, the MSHTML engine that powers Internet Explorer is still included. It exists only to enable IE mode in Microsoft Edge, which Microsoft states will be supported until at least 2029.
For online apps and sites that require Internet Explorer, businesses have mostly switched to Edge’s IE mode. This IE mode for Edge was established by Microsoft in 2019, and it supports older ActiveX controls that are still used by many legacy sites. Internet Explorer will remain on in spirit through this mode, but there will be no more Internet Explorer cakes.
Some businesses will be caught off guard by the Internet Explorer retirement, or may not be able to completely phase out its use in time. Some government departments and financial institutions in Japan have been reluctant to respond to the IE retirement, according to Nikkei this week. For example, the Japan Pension Service website must be accessed in Edge’s IE mode.
Thousands of comparable enterprises and instances of Internet Explorer usage are expected to exist throughout the world. For years, Microsoft has been warning of today’s Internet Explorer retirement, and it’s still being cautious with alerts and redirection until the browser is completely eliminated in the coming months.
Internet Explorer isn’t an issue for Windows 11 users because it doesn’t even come with an accessible version. It’s the first time in more than two decades that Microsoft hasn’t included Internet Explorer with a new version of Windows. The infamous United States v. Microsoft antitrust case and the European Commission’s action against Microsoft culminated in a browser ballot inside specific versions of Windows as a result of that bundling decision.