Microsoft is pulling the plug on its browser, Internet Explorer, next year as it prepares to battle market leader Google Chrome with its Edge browser.
Launched in 1995, Internet Explorer became the dominant browser for over a decade as it was bundled with Microsoft’s Windows operating system that came pre-installed in billions of computers.
The browser started losing out to Google’s Chrome in the late 2000s and has become a subject of countless internet memes for its sluggishness in comparison to its rivals.
Microsoft launched the Edge browser in 2015 that runs on the same technology as the Google browser.
As of April, Chrome has a 65 percent share of the global browser market, followed by Apple Safari, with an 18 percent share, according to web analytics firm Statcounter. Microsoft Edge has a 3 percent share, while Internet Explorer has a miniscule share of the market it once dominated.
The Windows software maker said the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 was in its faster and more secure Microsoft Edge.
“Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10,” the company said in a blog post.
Microsoft said this retirement does not affect in-market Windows 10 LTSC or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications.
The browser was at the heart of an antitrust case against Microsoft more than two decades ago, with a U.S. judge deciding that the software titan had broken the law after it combined Internet Explorer and the Windows operating system.
How this impacts you
If you’re a consumer using Internet Explorer at home, Microsoft said it recommends you transition to Microsoft Edge before June 15, 2022, to start enjoying a more modern browsing experience.
The good news: you probably already have it on your device. You can search for “Microsoft Edge” using the Windows 10 search box or look for the icon. If you don’t have it, you can download it here.
Microsoft has aimed to make the upgrade to Microsoft Edge simple. Once you’ve opted in to moving to Microsoft Edge, it’s easy to bring over your passwords, favorites and other browsing data from Internet Explorer in a few clicks. If you run into a site that needs Internet Explorer to open, Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode built-in so you can still access it.