Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it will retire its iconic Internet Explorer (IE) browser in June 2022. The company said that it envisions the future of Internet Explorer, which was launched in 1995, on Windows 10 in Microsoft Edge.
Over the last year, Microsoft has been moving away from Internet Explorer support, and had announced the end of IE support by Microsoft 365 online services.
"With Microsoft Edge capable of assuming this responsibility and more, the 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 statement on Wednesday.
Internet Explorer was once the most widely used web browser, obtaining a peak of about 95% usage share by 2003.
Its usage share has since declined with the launch of Firefox (2004) and Google Chrome (2008), and with the growing popularity of mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS that do not support Internet Explorer.
If you're a consumer using Internet Explorer at home, Microsoft recommends that you transition to Microsoft Edge before June 15, 2022, for a faster and more secure browsing experience.
If you're an organisation using Internet Explorer, you may have a large set of legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and apps, built up over many years.
Microsoft found that enterprises have 1,678 legacy apps on average.
"By moving to Microsoft Edge, you will be able to extend the life of your legacy websites and apps well beyond the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application retirement date using IE mode. Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge will be supported through at least 2029," the company informed.
For web developers, Microsoft said they should plan an orderly movement to end Internet Explorer support based on users' needs.
"Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications," the company said.
Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) built in, so users can access legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.