Internet Explorer – goodbye or good riddance?

Internet Explorer – goodbye or good riddance?

This week saw Microsoft pull the plug on its long-running browser Internet Explorer (IE), with people who try to download it from the Microsoft site now directed to the more up-to-date Edge browser.

IE’s trip to browser heaven on Wednesday brought over a quarter of a century of service to an end, and those who have been using the internet since 1995, or as part of the Windows 95 suite, may feel a sense of nostalgia about its retirement. After all, for many, the blue ‘e’ logo with a ring around it simply represented “the internet”. People’s understanding of the web was often too basic to realise that IE was just a way of accessing the internet rather than the internet itself.

Others are of the belief that the browser has long outlived its usefulness. Tech Radar writer Lance Ulanoff accuses Microsoft of years of forcing IE on users as their default browser, pointing out that as soon as other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome appeared and people realised they had a choice, IE’s popularity dropped dramatically. Meanwhile, Kiyoung Jung, an engineer from South Korea, has gone viral this week after creating a grave for Internet Explorer bearing the unflattering epitaph:

“He was a good tool to download other browsers.”

Of course, Microsoft isn’t removing itself from the internet browser market, and is simply putting its old browser to rest so that it can shift IE stalwarts over to Microsoft Edge. This can even be reloaded with an IE mode for any websites that function better in the old-fashioned browser.

Edge is generally a more highly regarded browser than any version of IE was. Tech Radar ranks it second only to Firefox in its list of 2022’s best browsers, with Ulanoff agreeing in his article that it is “maybe even better than Chrome”. Personally, my only real gripe with Edge is a strange and unhelpful process it carries out if you paste a URL from it into a Microsoft Word document, but as our article mentions, this can be switched off fairly easily.

Everyone has their own preference of browser, but whichever you use, it’s important to make sure you’re using the latest version to get the best experience, and since IE hadn’t been updated since 2013, it seems not before time that it has been put out of its misery. If you have a website and are concerned that it’s not optimised for the latest browsers, get in touch with us at Engage Web.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray

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