Microsoft is permanently burying its famous Internet Explorer browser

Web icon for an entire generation, Internet Explorer will gradually disappear from computers from Wednesday, June 15th. The announcement was made by Microsoft a year ago: After twenty-seven years of service, the most famous browser is living its last moments, as the US company has decided to end its technical support and push users to use their new browser. “The future of Internet Explorer on Windows is Microsoft Edge. Not only is Microsoft Edge faster, but also more secure.”justifies the US company.

Internet Explorer was originally released in 1995 as additional content to the Windows 95 operating system, and at the time, Internet Explorer was in the minority compared to the then giant, Netscape, which had more than 75% of the market share.

But Microsoft will use tricks to make the blue icon the most famous logo of the coming decade. If you turned on a computer in the early 2000s, you probably remember that the little “e” surrounded by a yellow circle was already present as if by magic on your machine. And with good reason, Internet Explorer was installed by default.

Bugs that will make his legend

A payment strategy as it will quickly overtake Netscape, overtaking it at the end of 1998, less than three years after launch. It became ultra-dominant in the market and peaked in popularity in 2003, with 95% of Internet users then using the Microsoft browser for their daily use.

But this sharp rise raises questions, first and foremost in the United States, where in 2001 Microsoft was accused of resorting to aggressive and anti-competitive practices to maintain its monopoly. Twelve years later, in 2013, the European Commission fined it a record € 561 million for imposing the software on the consumer.

Thanks to this strategy, Internet Explorer became the flagship browser that shook all web users in the early 2000s. Doing a search meant going through it, its so distinctive design … and its flawed optimization. Who has never been annoyed by its recurring slowness, generally accompanied, seconds after the feverish click of the red cross, by the mention “Internet Explorer Stops Responding” ? The bravest waited so wisely that he deserved to fill his role again, while the most nervous became impatient and made the software go down more. A situation that has affected users so much that a website recreates one of the most famous Internet Explorer errors.

Browser errors have over the years greatly inspired the Internet.

It’s still a classic internet meme: it’s outdated, nothing works on it, it’s reminiscent of the old CDI computers in high schools where it was the only browser … It’s getting funny because it’s so poorly optimized! »witnesses to our colleagues from Franceinfo, the creator of the Twitter account @intrnetexp which for three years has made social networks laugh with its humorous distractions.

Internet Explorer was also groundbreaking for web developers, many of whom worked on creating an ergonomic web page on a browser that did not take into account all the standards of its time. “If you’re a web developer working on modern websites or apps, we know you’ve been waiting a long time for this day”, by the way, Microsoft is joking about it in its press release announcing the end of the browser. Over time, the software had become the target of hackers, who regularly exploited its flaws and security flaws. In 2008, for example, a breach, later repaired, made it possible, thanks to a simple visit to a website, to install a program on your machine without your knowledge and then infect thousands of others.

Also read: Sobriety: Towards a Restriction on the Use of Digital Technology?

Crushed by competitors

Microsoft has long been limited to Internet users with a computer, while applications have evolved, and 59% of global Internet traffic is now from a telephone. Combined, these elements have contributed to its evolution over the years from market leader status to status as a recurring joke between nerds: Internet Explorer has become the software for beginners and boomers. It is also the browser that everyone little by little used solely for the purpose of downloading Chrome (Google), Safari (Apple) or even Firefox (Mozilla), which is much more efficient and optimized for modern use. So much so that in April 2022, only 0.39% of Internet users remained loyal to it, while Chrome proudly showed 64.34% market share, according to the GlobalStatsCounter website.

The release of Microsoft Edge in July 2015 was already the beginning of the end for Internet Explorer, as all the efforts of the American company were focused on this new product, more modern and effective than its ancestor. So much so that four years later, Microsoft’s cybersecurity chief even urged people to stop using Internet Explorer for practical reasons, in a post titled “The Risks of Using Internet Explorer as Your Default Browser.” A shame for a company that has long imposed it as such on its customers.

An “Internet Explorer” mode will remain integrated into Edge until 2029 to allow certain companies that are still dependent on the old software to continue working. But Microsoft strongly urges companies and web developers to make the transition as soon as possible. However, some do not seem to be ready to mourn over the famous browser, like the wave of nostalgia that has washed over social networks in recent days. Slow, not very functional, it is nevertheless the first gateway to the Internet for generation Y.

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