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Internet Explorer is finally reaching the end of its life, after nearly 27 years of serving up web pages to Microsoft Windows users. Microsoft stopped supporting the Internet Explorer browser this week and will eventually retire it entirely.
Internet Explorer was introduced when Microsoft Windows 95 was the talk of the town. Most people don’t realize it, but Internet Explorer didn’t launch with Windows 95. Instead, Microsoft bundled the web browser into a Windows 95 Plus! upgrade pack.
The web browser was basic when it was first introduced, but it exploded onto the market. It was wildly successful, with over 95 percent market share by 2003.
Internet Explorer had a good run in the early 2000s, but the browser lost its luster when Chrome, Safari, and other rivals stole market share.
Internet Explorer struggled with performance issues. It was a behemoth compared to the agile and modern Chrome. Microsoft itself even contributed to the demise of Internet Explorer when it rolled out Chromium-based Microsoft Edge and made Edge the default browser for future Windows versions.
“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,” wrote Microsoft in a blog post when it unveiled its new Edge browser in 2015.
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Now an afterthought in the browser wars, Internet Explorer accounts for a mere 0.5 percent of the market. After a long spiral downward from its coveted position as the world’s most popular browser, Internet Explorer is at the end of its life. RIP IE, you had a great run.