Internet Explorer, Windows’ Web Star, Dies at 26

Rest in peace, Internet Explorer. 

Microsoft has retired Internet Explorer after 27 years. It marks the end of an era for the web browser. Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer in favor of Microsoft Edge. 

Internet Explorer first debuted on Windows desktops 27 years ago in 1995. By 2004, the browser had cornered 95 percent of the market. 

But since then, competitors came in. Now, Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and Mozilla Firefox are dominant. 

The popularity of Internet Explorer was dented by the launch of faster browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. Users were drawn to applications with navigation platforms including Google Search. 

The rise of smartphones was also part of the fatal blow to Internet Explorer. Apple’s devices had pre-installed Safari browser and Android pre-installed Google Chrome on their phones. This helped shift internet access and usage into the mobile realm. 

Mobile and tablet internet usage overtook desktop usage worldwide for the first time in October 2016. Earlier in 2016, analytics companies saw Google Chrome account for more than 60 percent of desktop internet usage worldwide. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge’s combined share of the desktop market narrowly fell behind Firefox for the first time. 

Microsoft initially moved away from the Internet Explorer branding in 2015 with the release of Windows 10. Microsoft will begin rolling out a new prompt over the next several months that redirects anyone who is still using Explorer instead of Edge. And eventually, Explorer will be completely and permanently disabled as part of future Windows updates. 

In 1995, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that the launch of Windows 95, and the launch of Internet Explorer with it, would form part of the tech giant’s efforts to ride the internet tidal wave. 

Internet Explorer has come pre-installed on all Windows computers for more than two decades. Internet Explorer’s legacy is sure to live on after its put to rest.

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