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Microsoft finally releases timeline for the long-overdue burial of Internet Explorer

IE is history, long live something else.

internet explorer 11
Image: KnowTechie

In a blog post, Microsoft has laid out its timeline for its long-overdue sympathetic murder of Internet Explorer, the browser that hasn’t been relevant since the introduction of Firefox and Google Chrome. Internet Explorer, last updated in 2013 before being replaced by Microsoft Edge, has a storied history but for a long time has felt like a neck itch in a turtleneck sweater. It started to die when it could no longer be forced upon new PC or laptop users. Now it’s dead.

Internet Explorer was born in 1995 and seemed to be stuck there for a long time. Even though it was eventually outmoded by Microsoft’s own Edge browser, it was still there for some reason. It’s always been there. It will be cemented in our internet memories until the day we die. It’s part of history. Windows 95 is legendary, and Internet Explorer was part of that.

Regardless, all good things must come to an end and this hasn’t been a good thing for well over a decade. So now that the announcement has been made, what’s the timeline for its funeral?

On November 30th of this year, as we’re all Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping for new laptops, Microsoft Teams will cease support of IE 11

internet explorer end date

Image: Microsoft

IE 11 is the most recent iteration of the browser. Microsoft will continue to support IE 11 for businesses that have paid for the privilege, allowing private IE11 applications to function. On March 9th, 2021 Microsoft will end the life of Microsoft Edge Legacy, holding a pillow over its airways until its ghost exits its code and is replaced by Edge Chromium.

Then finally in August 2021, a year after announcing its death, Microsoft 365 will no longer support IE 11. Considering that IE 11 has like a 1% market share, this shouldn’t be too huge an issue for users. Most have already either consigned themselves to using Edge, either because their organization forces them to use Microsoft 365 products, or they don’t know how to switch default browsers. Google Chrome has its issues, but is so much better than anything Microsoft has created on the browser front.

Microsoft Edge will have an Internet Explorer mode, for the ability to use any business-critical apps within the Edge browser. I can’t think of anything that would be considered such, but then I’ve only worked within businesses that buy and use software to help them succeed. Microsoft will also stop packaging IE with any new Microsoft product, as it has been a component of Windows operating systems since its inception. It’s like instead of a side of chips with your lunch you get a rubbery, brown square of something that resembles something edible, but is really just there because they never thought of something better.

There are some enterprise issues that will be popping up with the deletion of IE support, like with SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) servers that if not brought up to date are only accessible via IE or Silverlight (also discontinued and only available via a browser plugin), but those issues should be solved with the Internet Explorer mode.

In future updates and installations, Edge Legacy will be replaced by Edge Chromium, which is more secure, productive and includes a bunch of Chrome-style features. Regardless, it’s still a Microsoft browser, so I’ll still be using Chrome. Microsoft browsers are like wearing a suit and tie to take out the trash. Which is exactly what I won’t be wearing to Internet Explorer’s funeral. Sweat pants and a stained t-shirt is all I feel it’s worth now, lasting way too long past its expiration date. Good riddance.

What do you think? Do you still use Internet Explorer? Sad to see it go? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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