Microsoft announced Internet Explorer officially retired after 25+ years of service. Internet Explorer (IE) was launched in 1995, two years after the world’s first web browser. Its impact was huge and Microsoft released IE version 1 as an ad-on to the Windows 95 operating system. This was the first of many releases by Microsoft that will revolutionize the web browser experience and take the Word Wide Web to the next level.

After defeating Netscape Navigator to win the browser war in the late 90s, Microsoft neglected it and let it fall into despair. It went from being the one and only best browser to being a hated browser with spinning and clunky web page loading. Internet Explorer’s problems had their roots in Microsoft’s desire not to frustrate its users but rather to innovate. Microsoft tried to set its early versions apart from its competitors by focusing on adding new features rather than simply trying to make the browser faster. Internet Explorer supported many technologies, such as CSS, which modernized web page design, allowing web pages to look pretty and became the standard front-end development.

Internet Explorer’s dominance gradually faded until Google’s Chrome browser became the king of web browsers on the desktop and Apple Safari web browser on the Iphone. By the early 2000s, Microsoft neglected to put in enough resources to continue to improve things like online security and cumbersomeness, and it was difficult to switch to an alternative web browser by deeply integrating into the Windows operating system.

At this time, FireFox became the leader in web browsers by embracing open-source standards for speed, reliability, and security. Finally, it reached to the point where developers and designers preferred open-source technologies over Internet Explorer proprietary technologies. It was a big shift in web browser technologies, but Microsoft did not fully embrace the open-source standards until it released Internet Explorer 8, which featured significant improvements in standards compliance and security. However, the loss and damage in market share had already been done. And Google released Chrome at this time further diminishing Internet Explorer, and finally, Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with Edge.

For normal and everyday users, according to Microsoft, “The future of Internet Explorer is in Microsoft Edge.”  

In the end, it’s best for Internet Explorer to retire.  It has run its course, and the future lies in the open-source standards technologies.  Likewise, nowadays, there are many web browsers out there to choose from, and with the new modern web technologies and forward-thinking ways; the modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari and FireFox have overtaken the former name, Internet Explorer.  Microsoft has no choice but to release Edge with open-source compatibility. 

According to Oberlo browser statistics for May 2022, Google Chrome has 64.91% share of the market, following Safari and Edge with 19.03% and 3.99%, respectively.  From the data, we can tell that Edge (or Internet Explorer) is in third place, and has been declined over time. 

Desktop Web Browsers Shared Wordwide
Desktop Web Browsers Shared Wordwide

From the StatCounter GlobaStatis, looking from January 2009 – May 2022, Internet Explorer declines big time and Google Chrome increases over the last 12+ years.  And Internet Explorer has reached its saturation point and maintains a decline such that it becomes a linear growth instead of exponential growth.