Monday, 27 March, 2023

Scitech space

Microsoft to phase out Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, for years the principal way of accessing any website for a generation of computer users, is to go the way of the dancing baby screensaver and the floppy disk.

Microsoft is killing off the outdated browser’s desktop app after nearly 30 years with the release of an update to its newer Edge browser on Tuesday, reports the Guardian.

Users will be redirected to Edge and further updates due in the summer will scrub away signs of the dead browser from start menus and taskbars.

“The change to use Microsoft Edge update to disable IE [Internet Explorer] is intended to provide a better user experience and help organisations transition their last remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge,” the firm has said.

It explained that, until the icons disappear in June, users clicking on Internet Explorer will be redirected to Microsoft Edge. “Their browsing data will be automatically brought over to Microsoft Edge from IE11 so they can seamlessly continue browsing.”

Microsoft announced in 2015 it was moving away from Internet Explorer, which had become maligned among many Windows users for its sluggish speed, in favour of its then brand-new browser Edge. The latter was planned as a faster and more advanced browser that would be the default for consumers using the whole range of Windows 10 devices.

By last June, some users were still on Internet Explorer, but Microsoft was saying many websites were no longer being made compatible with the browser.

In a submission to an Australian competition regulator’s review of the market, Microsoft said it had spent years “attempting to address incompatibilities as they arose with different websites, including some of the most popular ones on the internet” but had eventually decided that approach “no longer made sense”.

That month, Microsoft ended support for the browser, meaning it would no longer receive updates that would patch up security holes, thereby no longer effectively protecting users.

Microsoft’s market domination came about due to its bundling of the software as part of the Windows operating system. While its use declined over the years, its brand recognition endured. A Roy Morgan survey commissioned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September 2021 found it to be the second-most recognisable browser after Google Chrome.