Internet Explorer, dies at 26
An end to an era. Microsoft just announced that Internet Explorer is retiring. After 27 years of existence, the aging browser is going to be substituted by Microsoft Edge. The support for IE was officially withdrawn yesterday.
Although we feel a little bit sad, but mostly nostalgic to see it go, nothing really changes for the day to day user. Internet Explorer usage has been in a constant downfall in the recent years. To put this in terms of numbers, less than half a percent internet users do use this as their default browser.
Even Microsoft wanted to steer off users away from IE. Thus, in the upcoming months the company will redirect all those hard core Internet Explorer users over to Microsoft Edge. Once, everybody is aboard with the new changes, the company will permanently disable the browser.
Tech Specs and History
After its initial release on August 16, 1995 Internet Explorer has given grievances to countless users online. It’s original author Thomas Reardon used MSHTML engine (also known as Trident) to display the ever growing web.
During the height of the browser wars, Internet Explorer superseded Netscape only when it caught up technologically to support the progressive features of the time. And that seems to be the only win that IE will take home.
It’s adoption as a default browser was closely related to the one of Microsoft Windows. It all started with IE version 2 that was shipped with Windows 95 OSR 1 in 1996. Things started picking up in 1997 after version 4.0 was released. So, from 20% usage in 1996 it jumped to about 40% in 1998. In the 2000’s Internet Explorer owned 80% of the market. This made Microsoft the winner in the infamous “First Browser War” against Netscape Navigator.
Internet Explorer peaked during 2002 and 2003 owning an unbelievable 95% market share. But, soon after the initial win over Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer started facing other opponents. The first one, coming in the shape of Firefox released from Mozilla. Everything started going downhill from there.
Firefox will surpass Internet Explorer 5 in the early 2005. In September of 2010 the marker share falls below 50% for Internet Explorer. And in May 2012 Google Chrome took the thrown as the most used browser worldwide. What is interesting is that in April of 2022 the usage of IE is very low globally. But it is higher in Africa.
How the Internet reacted to the departure of Internet Explorer
First of all, Internet Explorer is a top story right now. Almost every single respectable web site is saluting it’s departure in the history. Let’s look at some of the headlines.
- The Washington Post: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is dead
- The Verge: Internet Explorer, star of Windows, dies at 26
- CNBC: So long, Internet Explorer. The browser retires today
News all over the world are filled with stories like these. Users getting nostalgic and reminiscence about their time spent with this browser. But, there is a funny part to this story as well.
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Internet Explorer Memes
The moment the news broke out, about Microsoft shutting down support for Internet Explorer, a lot of users turn to the meme community. And they were able to turn our frown upside down with some of their comments. Let’s look at some of them.
Internet Explorer is finally shutting down on June 15 after 27 years.
Seems it’s lagging a bit, I clicked “close” 26 years ago.
— Scott Hanselman 🇺🇦 (@shanselman) June 14, 2022
Internet Explorer will retire tomorrow (June 15, 2022).
If you are still using this browser, you'll receive this news sometime in the next 500 years for sure 🥲#InternetExplorer pic.twitter.com/jGzkDcBxXg
— Mukul Sharma (@stufflistings) June 14, 2022
Jokes apart, this has been a significant part of most of our lives. End of an era, no doubts. Some people go out and say that this was an error. Or rather an end of an error. Looking back now, I kind of miss it. And because of that nostalgia users would try to find Internet Explorer and run it one last time. This is what they got:
As you can see, Internet Explorer reliably throws errors 27 years later. I guess some things never change. This users started IE one last time, for one final goodbye.
Here is a great little doodle, done by Malware Unicorn. 90’s kids would know and respect what this is all about.
I think this tweet describes perfectly how all 90’s users are feeling right now.
After 27 years of service, Microsoft is going to retire Internet Explorer for good on June 15th. pic.twitter.com/rIpcHFWoU3
— Product Hunt 😸 (@ProductHunt) June 12, 2022
This is another hilarious tweet
If you want to look at even more funny tweets and memes about the departure of Internet Explorer, Bored Panda just published it’s 30 of the Internet’s Funniest Reactions to Internet Explorer’s Shutdown.
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The End: Internet Explorer
So long, Internet Explorer, you shall be missed! Thanks for being a part of our first digital memories. For being the perfect tool for downloading other browsers. And, most importantly, for teaching us what patience really is. We hope you’ll find peace among fax machines, BlackBerry phones, and other technologies that have simply lost their relevance.
Or… maybe not?