The internet wasn’t always around, and neither was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. But now that we’re all online so much, it’s hard to imagine a world without either. For a long time, Internet Explorer was the tool of choice for those browsing the web on a PC.
Recently, Microsoft retired its classic browser in favour of the new Microsoft Edge. In this blog, we explore the rise and fall of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
A Brief History of Internet Browsers
August 1995 – Microsoft launches Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer was first released on August 16, 1995. However, it wasn’t until the release of Internet Explorer 4 in 1997 that Microsoft began to actively pursue a market share in the web browser industry. Even then, it wasn’t until Internet Explorer 5 came out for Windows 98 that it became an incredibly popular option for users across the world. Internet Explorer had gained serious momentum as one of the most widely used browsers around.
September 2001 – Apple launches Safari
When Apple launched Safari as part of Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar on September 24th, 2001, many users remained faithful to Internet Explorer 6 because it was still being used by so many websites.
September 2008 – Google launches Chrome
Then came Google Chrome, which made its debut on September 2, 2008, after four years of development. This set off an arms race between all major companies developing browsers for Windows machines including:
Opera Software ASA – released Opera 12 in June 2011
Mozilla Corporation – released Firefox 4 in March 2011
This resulted in what might be thought of as a “golden age” of internet browsers. There were countless options available to users looking for software.
But Microsoft’s dominance would not last forever. With competition from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, Internet Explorer lost some of its popularity among consumers over time. In its later years, it existed primarily as an enterprise tool rather than something used by everyone at home every day as other modern browsers have. At the time of its retirement on June 15, 2022, less than 1 percent of users were using the browser, and that figure continues to decline.
What is replacing Internet Explorer?
Microsoft has retired Internet Explorer and replaced it with Microsoft Edge. The new browser is faster and more secure than ever before, while also being more compatible with web standards and mobile devices. As a Windows 10 feature, the new browser will be included in every copy of the operating system that’s sold going forward.
Can you still use Internet Explorer now that it is retired?
Microsoft was on its 11th edition of Internet Explorer when it was retired. However, one big concern in deciding to retire the browser revolved around compatibility with older websites and applications. While some users will still be able to access the browser, Internet Explorer is no longer compatible with certain versions of Windows 10.
That said, for those who rely on it to conduct their business, Microsoft recommends using the Microsoft Edge application in Internet Explorer mode. This will allow users to access what they need to with Internet Explorer while still benefiting from an improved product and experience.
Three reasons to start working on Microsoft Edge
We get it – change can be hard to embrace, especially after over two decades. But there are a lot of reasons to give Microsoft Edge a chance:
With Microsoft Edge, users will be able to access both older, legacy and modern websites seamlessly. Through Internet Explorer mode, users will be able to use popular ActiveX controls like Java.
Have you ever been required to use more than one browser to do work with different web-based applications? This common practice can end with Microsoft Edge, reducing the need to alternate between windows. In addition, the new browser helps your computer’s processing time through “sleeping tabs.” Essentially, when you are not using a tab but are required to keep it open, Edge will allow that background tab to “go to sleep” so system resources can be freed up for the tasks you are working on. Now you can keep as many tabs open as you want without negatively impacting performance!
Better browser security
Microsoft Edge is simply better at responding to security threats. It offers protection against phishing attacks and malware through Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. The browser also monitors whether your passwords or personal credentials have been compromised.
WordPress no longer supports Internet Explorer
According to a post on WordPress.org, the popular hosting platform will stop supporting Internet Explorer once its new version, WordPress 5.8, is released this July. WordPress is not testing any new features on the old browser, so they may not function optimally. Instead, users are encouraged to switch to modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.
This is in line with many other popular websites and applications, like Microsoft Teams which stopped supporting Internet Explorer in 2020.
Umbrella Legal Marketing Stays on Top of Technological Developments to Better Service Its Clients
When marketing your legal services, it’s important to ensure that clients are able to access information about your firm on whichever browser they choose. That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of developments in the digital space and understand how they can impact your law firm. Better yet, consider consulting with legal marketing experts who can help ensure your marketing content is easily retrievable and accessible to attract potential clients in need of counsel.
At Umbrella Legal Marketing, we understand the unique needs of the legal market, the ever-changing expansion of the technology we market with, and how to effectively combine these specific demands with the realities of marketing in the social media and online age. If you would like to learn more about how we could assist you, please contact us online or at 416-356-4672.