Microsoft has announced that, after 25 years, it’s finally retiring its ageing Internet Explorer in 2022.
The much-maligned web browser, which originally launched in 1995, has gone largely unused by consumers for some time; it currently commands just 3.8% of the desktop browser market, a market that Google’s Chrome browser dominates with an almost 70% share.
Microsoft has confirmed that, from June 15 2020, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be “retired and go out of support.” At that point, application will be disabled and redirect to Microsoft Edge, the company said in an FAQ about the shutdown.
The move won’t affect the Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel, which is used for static systems that cannot, or will not, be updated for years at a time, such as medical systems like those used for MRI and CAT scans, industrial process controllers, and air traffic control devices. It also won’t affect Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications or the MSHTML (Trident) engine. For the most part, though, Internet Explorer will be put out to pasture in a little under 13 months.
Internet Explorer’s spirit will live on elsewhere too, thanks to a legacy IE mode build into Microsoft Edge that will allow users to access legacy websites which are surprisingly still used by many businesses. Microsoft is promising to support this IE mode in Edge until through at least 2029.
However, Microsoft is urging those still using Internet Explorer to move to Edge (or another browser) before the browser is officially retired next year.
“If you’re a consumer using Internet Explorer at home, we recommend you transition to Microsoft Edge before June 15, 2022, to start enjoying a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience,” the company said in a blog post.
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