Speed Reads

goodbye old friend

Microsoft shuts down Internet Explorer after nearly 30 years

The exploring is over. 

Microsoft has officially retired its web browser Internet Explorer nearly three decades after it launched. 

The company announced plans to end support for Internet Explorer last year, citing a focus on its newer web browser, Microsoft Edge — though it noted Edge will still include "Internet Explorer mode," allowing users to access "legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications." But in the next few months, users who open Internet Explorer will be redirected to Edge. 

Going back to the 1990s, Internet Explorer was how millions of people first surfed the web, though its popularity declined significantly after the rise of alternative web browsers like Mozilla's Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple's Safari. According to Digital Trends, the most popular web browser in 2022 is Chrome, followed by Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

But despite it being a long time coming, Internet Explorer's official shutdown was seen by many as the end of an era — and The Wall Street Journal reported the small group of people who still used it regularly aren't happy. "I've used it for so long — it's the first thing I get on on my laptop," 31-year-old Sam Maumalanga told the Journal

Microsoft's Sean Lyndersay explained in a blog, though, that "incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn't match the general improvements to the web at large," so the company had to start "fresh" with Edge.

"To many millions of you," Lyndersay added, "thank you for using Internet Explorer as your gateway to the internet."