More than two decades after the epic browser wars of the 1990s, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer will finally join Netscape Navigator in the great scrap heap of history.
announced Wednesday that Explorer will be retired next year, in favor of the newer, faster, more secure Edge browser.
Support for Explorer will end on June 15, 2022, for most versions of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge program manager Sean Lyndersay said in a blog post.
“Over the last year, you may have noticed our movement away from Internet Explorer (“IE”) support,” Lyndersay said. “Today, we are at the next stage of that journey: we are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge.”
Edge was introduced in 2015, and Microsoft has gradually steered toward it since.
Internet Explorer was introduced in 1995 and was bundled for free for Windows users, which sparked an often bitter battle with then-browser-market leader Netscape Navigator, culminating in a 1998 antitrust trial. Although Microsoft lost the case, by that time Explorer had won the war and was the dominant browser. At its peak in 2001, Explorer claimed more than 90% of the global browser market.
But times have changed, and Microsoft’s two browsers now hang onto a small sliver of the pie. As of April, Google’s
Chrome had 65% of the global browser market, Apple’s
Safari had 19% and Firefox had 4%, while Microsoft’s Edge had 3% and Explorer had less than 1%, according to Statcounter data.
Microsoft is advising anyone still using Explorer to make the switch before next summer.
For those stragglers, in his blog post, Lyndersay noted Edge has “IE mode” built in, “so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”
“We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting Internet Explorer over the years,” he said.