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If you were going online before the era of Facebook, Google, and smartphones, you may remember when Netscape Navigator was the go-to browser for surfing the net. But then Microsoft came along and upped the ante with Internet Explorer in August 1995, and Navigator faded away. Since Windows was closely linked with IE, user numbers grew massively. In the early 2000s, Internet Explorer had more than 90% of the browser market, despite complaints that it was slow, had security flaws, and frequently crashed.
But all things must pass, and Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Internet Explorer in June 2022, forcing users to switch to its Edge browser – or go elsewhere. Many people loved to hate the nearly 27-year-old application, and some said they were sad to see it go.
So long to a '90s icon:
- For a while, users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their devices, but they’ll ultimately be redirected to Edge. Eventually, Explorer will be removed permanently as part of a future Windows update.
- There are some websites that only work with Internet Explorer and will need to be made compatible with Edge or other browsers. Interestingly, Internet Explorer remains "big in Japan," with many corporate websites only compatible with the veteran browser. A survey in March found that 49% of Japanese businesses were still using Internet Explorer, for tasks like data exchange and accounting.
- Today, Google Chrome dominates the browser market with about a 65 percent share worldwide, according to Statcounter. Apple’s Safari is next with 19 percent, followed by Edge at 4 percent, just ahead of Firefox.