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Microsoft Internet Explorer is finally dead

The browser will no longer be supported by the company from 17 August, 2021

Adam Smith
Thursday 20 August 2020 12:04 BST
Microsoft kills off Internet Explorer after 25 years

Microsoft has finally killed Internet Explorer

The browser will be finished on 17 August, 2021, the company said.

In a blog post, Microsoft explained that the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 – the most recent and final iteration of the browser - from November 30, 2020.

The remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will end support for the browser next year.

Replacing the browser is Microsoft Edge, the computer giant’s new browser which relies on Chromium open-source software, developed by Google for Google Chrome. That gives Edge more features than Internet Explorer.

There is an older version of Edge which does not use Chromium; that version will also be phased out on 9 March 2021.

With many websites and applications still using Internet Explorer, Microsoft is trying to avoid having two active browsers at once.

Instead, Microsoft Edge’s Internet Explorer Legacy mode means that users can stay on one browser – to “seamlessly experience the best of the modern web in one tab while accessing a business-critical legacy IE 11 app in another tab”, the company says.

The closure of Internet Explorer, and Microsoft’s non-Chromium browsers, has been on the cards for years. Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 were discontinued in 2016, while Microsoft Edge was introduced one year before, in 2015.

The move towards Chromium for Microsoft’s browser, compared to its previous proprietary browser, has larger ramifications for the future of the open internet. Those concerns have become more pressing in recent months because of, among other things, the fallout between the US government and TikTok.

Chromium is now the basis of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Avast Secure Browser, and Opera.

This means that Google has greater influence when it comes to what features are developed, practices accepted, and which usability concerns are deemed vital.

Nonetheless, the new Edge browser includes a range of features that differentiate it from others like Google Chrome.

This includes turning on tracking protection by default, which blocks both advertisements and almost all third-party tracking code.

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