Microsoft has undertaken the final few steps in order to fully retire the now defunct web browser Internet Explorer (IE), reaching the last stages of its phased termination.
As of August 2021, Microsoft has withdrawn Internet Explorer support for every Microsoft 365 app, thus bringing the sunsetting process to an end.
The Internet Explorer retirement roadmap that was released in August last year, consisted of numerous stages that indicated that support for the browser would gradually decrease from the wide range of Microsoft services.
While there are certain Microsoft 365 apps that may still utilise the browser and function through it, users should expect a significantly diminished and limited experience.
The updated roadmap states that “Support is now unavailable for Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE11”.
“Additionally, you should expect no new features when accessing Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE11 and that the daily usage experience for users could get progressively worse over time until the apps and services are disconnected.”
Internet Explorer dominated the early stages of web browsers ever since its launch in 1995, but in recent years it was often ridiculed for having speed issues as well as a very awkward user interface.
The browser’s market share dropped massively over the years, going from its peak of 95% to just a handful of percentage points, with newer and more efficient alternatives emerging such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
As a result, Microsoft have become fully invested in their newer web browser, Edge, which was revitalised in 2020 by using the Chromium source code, the same rendering engine as Google Chrome but also containing enhancements that were developed by Microsoft.
“Customers have been using IE11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today,” Microsoft wrote when they initially announced the Internet Explorer retirement roadmap.
“Since then, open web standards and newer browsers – like the new Microsoft Edge – have enabled better, more innovative online experiences”.
Internet Explorer 11 will continue to be supported by Microsoft for the lifecycle of the Windows version on which the browser is installed until June 15 2022.
Whether you used it as your main web browser, or simply to download other browsers, it is still one of the most iconic software ever released by Microsoft.