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Microsoft officially declares Internet Explorer dead

Russell Kidson

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At least two generations of modern society are overcome with nostalgia today. It’s been years since Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has had any relevance in modern computing. In fact, the utility was so slow and inefficient, even before the launch of Microsoft Edge, that it became the punch line of countless jokes, memes, and tech sector comedy skits. Now, it will vanish from Windows 11 completely and go offline.

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However, it would be ignorant to ignore how many research projects, frantic and distressed 2 AM query sessions, and early interpretations of internet gaming this utility has facilitated over the years. In the eyes of many, Internet Explorer was the beginning of the hyper-connected internet culture that we find ourselves a part of today. 

Microsoft officially declares Internet Explorer dead

Yesterday, on June 15th, Microsoft confirmed that it has laid the aged Internet Explorer to rest, discontinuing service for the utility in favor of the faster, more capable Chromium-based Microsoft Edge. 

‘Users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices (such as on the taskbar or in the Start menu) but if they click to open Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge will open instead with easy access to IE mode.’ 

Here’s how to enter IE mode on Microsoft Edge:

  • Head to edge://settings/defaultbrowser
  • Enable Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer
  • Restart Edge

We have now entered over into a period I’d like to liken to the changing of the guard. While Internet Explorer will still be part of your PC ecosystem, if you are one of the few that still use the utility on Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will be used to field requests that require the use of Internet Explorer. This has been the status quo since October 2020, however, these efforts will intensify as Microsoft weens users and systems off of the use of Internet Explorer. A future update will completely remove Internet Explorer from the equation. 

This move is version-specific, however. Internet Explorer never made it into the Windows 11 environment and will be discontinued from most versions of Windows 10. The utility will still be operational on Windows 7 ESU, 8.1, and all versions of Windows 10 LTSC client, Server, and IoT. With these versions, the utility will keep running until the versions of the OS themselves reach their end of life. 

If you haven’t made the switch to Edge, or indeed Windows 11, yet, here’s ample reason to do so: Tabs are coming to the Windows 11 File Explorer making it function similarly to Edge!

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