Full disclosure: IE (Internet Explorer) has been a pain in the butt for web developers like us for a long time. We are THRILLED that it is about to go away forever. Good riddance!
IE has been dysfunctional for years. Web developers complained constantly about how slow and buggy it was. When we build and are about to launch a new website, we check it on all of the popular browsers to make sure it renders correctly and that all of the functionality works as it should. It is not unusual for only one browser to have problems with properly displaying a site. Guess which one?
IE would have died and gone away a long time ago except for the fact that it was Microsoft’s browser and every PC came loaded with it. It’s been on life support for at least five years. We guess Microsoft would have killed it off earlier, but it didn’t want to admit to its failure and didn’t have anything better to replace it with.
Unfortunately, Microsoft still doesn’t have anything better.
Many folks discovered on their own that Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other web browsers were superior and stopped using IE. However, millions of people stuck with the default browser that their machines came with. As of last month, IE was third overall in browser market share.
Microsoft Pulling the Plug
Microsoft finally faced the fact the IE was beyond redemption and quietly launched a new browser, Edge, in April (with a logo that was very similar to Explorer’s). Early reviews said that although Edge was an improvement over Explorer, it was still subpar.
Last week, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on IE. It will no longer provide updates to older versions of the software. For the time being, Microsoft will provide updates to only the most recent version of Internet Explorer, IE11, but many industry experts speculate that within a year or two, support for IE11 will end, too. Over time, the millions and millions of current IE users with old versions of the software will experience increasing trouble with their browsers until at some point they will essentially stop working altogether.
Jump Ship Now
If you are using IE (or Edge), we highly recommend that you get a new browser. We prefer Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (both are free and both make it easy to import bookmarks and other data from IE).
If you are one of the millions of people who are being forced to get a new browser, don’t despair. This is a good thing that was too long coming. Rejoice with us!