The replacement? Microsoft Edge, which already has an “Internet Explorer mode” built right in. Microsoft said in 2019 that it planned to add an IE Mode within Edge, and the virtualized browser lives on as a configurable mode within Microsoft Edge. That’s important, because the modern Edge browser is simply more secure than Internet Explorer ever was. And you can’t say Microsoft didn’t signal IE’s demise, by basically booting users from accessing hundreds of sites via IE in late 2020.
The browser’s death is not a surprise nor is it especially inconvenient for a large majority of internet users in 2022. Microsoft started ringing the death knell for its old internet portal last year. Web analytics site Statcounter (as noted by The Verge) indicates that, by its death, IE usage had dropped to less than 1 percent of total browser market share. The world functionally decided it was dead long before Microsoft did.
Unlike when Adobe killed Flash, this date is not emotional at all to me: when I first started as a web designer (thanks to Fred Siqueira hooking me up at CESAR), then later as Art Director at icorp (thanks to Maurício Carvalho and Caio Correia), and creative director at Pixel 8, our discussions around implementing the coolest features always died when someone asked “will this be compatible with IE?”
At some point, the whole “will this be compatible with Internet Explorer?” was killing some businesses: when we first started implementing web apps, I remember how hard it was for companies like Roamworks to maintain applications: we needed to write a lot of extra code to make sure that the experience “degraded gracefully” on internet explorer (which as actually a nice way of say doesn’t look like sh%&t); we had hundreds of regression tests that we were specific to IE;
If I knew then what I know now, I would have said we need finding ways to remove (or at least reduce) subjectivity when we compare, contrast such business decisions to justify the investment on them. R.I.P. Internet Explorer… but I can’t say I’ll miss you!