With the shutdown of Internet Explorer, Microsoft is putting an end to a digital symbol

“We announce that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge.” It is with these words that on May 19, 2021, Microsoft announced the end of its historic browser. An announcement that will become a reality on June 15, 2022, when technical support for Internet Explorer will be phased out under Windows 10. By August 2021, Microsoft 365 had already stopped supporting the browser and was gradually abandoned by the company.

However, the few remaining Internet Explorer users can be reassured: Edge, the second Microsoft browser launched in 2015, will take over. “Microsoft Edge has a built-in Internet Explorer mode”, assured the US company on its blog at the time of publication of the browser’s judgment. An adaptation necessitated by the structuring of many software and business applications: “Many organizations have a surprisingly high number of old technology sites”Microsoft explained at the time, which spoke “an average of 1,678 older apps” In the companies.

These sites and applications will therefore be able to continue working in Edge via Internet Explorer mode until 2029, according to Microsoft. “Beware, Edge’s compatibility mode does not solve all problems”, however, warns Éric Le Bourlout, editor-in-chief of the 01net site, a site specializing in the digital world. Certain elements such as the JavaScript language or the Silverlight plug-in, for example, are affected, according to him.

“It’s a page that turns. It’s one of the big stages on the web”analyzes digital journalist Jérôme Colombain, who compares this to the shutdown of certain Microsoft flagship programs, such as Windows 98. “It’s the end of an era and one of the symbols of the internet explosion”confirms Benjamin Vincent, journalist specializing in new technologies and author of the New World column on franceinfo.

But if June 15th is the official shutdown day for Internet Explorer, “it does not change much as the browser was no longer used and replaced by Edge”, emphasizes Jérôme Colombain, who is also a producer on the Digital World podcast. If we look at the numbers from the Statcounter website, in April 2022, there were only 0.39% of online entries from Internet Explorer against 64.34% for Chrome, the giant Google browser. . “There are not really any lambda internet users still using internet explorer because the current web is no longer really compatible with these technologies”, describes Éric Le Bourlout. Only according to the journalist “sharp uses” certain programs or applications may cause Internet users to continue to open Internet Explorer.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share

It must be said that the browser and its creator, Microsoft, have gradually deterred users from using it. “Microsoft gave it up a long time ago”says Éric Le Bourlout. “It was obsolete technically and security-wise because it was no longer up to date.” According to him, “Microsoft has not been able to keep up with technological advances and was content with the absolute minimum, completely missing out on some major web milestones”. Same observation on the side of Benjamin Vincent pointing to the failed turn of the smartphone.

“The launch of the iPhone and then smartphones coincides with the decline of Internet Explorer. This reminds me of the mistake made by record companies who did not see the arrival of MP3s coming.”

Benjamin Vincent, journalist specializing in new technologies

at france info

Microsoft thus left itself and “took a long time before I reacted to all this”, apologizes Éric Le Bourlout. And therefore did not save in 2015, once the observation was made: Quit Internet Explorer, hi Edge. From its launch, the new browser was intended to replace its ancestor to launch on new bases. But it is currently struggling to convince, with only 4.05% of users in April 2022. This official end of Internet Explorer is nonetheless “a mistake” for Eric Le Bourlout. Benjamin Vincent confirms: “Microsoft missed the opportunity to maintain leadership.”

Therefore, if Internet Explorer has been referred to the bottom of the drawers for several years, why does its termination seem so symbolic to us? “It was an example of Microsoft’s omnipotence on the Internetanalyzes Jérôme Colombain. They dominated. “ And with good reason: after leaving the Internet due to a lack of conviction of its interest, Bill Gates allowed his company to make a sensational entry into the field with the launch of Internet Explorer in 1995.

“The standard was Internet Explorer. It was the versatile thing that evolved and worked everywhere.”

Jérôme Colombain, journalist and producer of the podcast “Digital World”.

at france info

It was also a must when installing the Windows suite, and Microsoft forced users to choose their browser. This practice has also given the company a lawsuit in the United States and a fine in Europe for anti-competitive practices. But the result was here: “At its peak in 2004, it rose to 95% market share”thus emphasizing The echoes. In January 2009, the browser still accumulated 64.97% of web entries, with Google Chrome, the current leader, posting only 1.37%.

All of this has helped make Internet Explorer an Internet myth. “Affiliation is generational and affective”says Jérôme Colombain. “Many people discovered the net with him”, abounds Eric Le Bourlout. For Benjamin Vincent, the navigator “has a small page of Proust’s madeleine! People over 25 have necessarily surfed at some point thanks to Internet Explorer. We’re turning the page on a logo and a name that has followed us for more than twenty years.”

The symbol is such that some have taken up the browser name to make fun of it. Thus, the Twitter account @intrnetexp has fun by relying on current events to bring out old information. “It’s an icon! Everyone knows Internet Explorer, even those who are not very good at digital”, assures the creator of the parody account. What was originally just a joke between friends, so quickly the name of the Microsoft browser impose itself:

“It’s still a classic internet meme: it’s outdated, nothing works on it, it reminds us of the old CDI computers in high schools where it was the only browser … It’s getting fun because it’s so poorly optimized! “

The creator of the Twitter account @intrnetexp

at france info

For those who are nostalgic for the Internet Explorer era, the creator of the account promises it “to mark the hit”. But do not know what will become of the account: “Either we stop there and it can be a very interesting ending, or we use this news to be brought. But the jokes on Internet Explorer will continue for people who know, and the browser will therefore be able to continue to live after all. . ”

The Microsoft company did not respond to our interview requests.

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