Microsoft ends support for Internet Explorer here comes Edge

15 June 2022

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

Microsoft is finally withdrawing support for its aging Internet Explorer (IE) web browser. The software has not been fully updated since the release of IE 11 in 2013, making it the bane of web developers’ lives, who are forced to implement workarounds in their mark-up to make websites at least partially functional in the old browser. Older software may also contain vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit, possibly giving them access to a user’s computer.

But today only sees the end of support for IE on “certain versions of Windows 10”, so Internet Explorer will be with us for some time yet. On to the bad news. Now that IE is no longer being maintained, Microsoft is encouraging users to switch to its newer browser, Edge. But “encouraging” isn’t quite the right word.

Some users of Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS), Windows 11, are reporting efforts by the OS to “discourage” the installation of rival bowsers. For instance some users trying to install Chrome, the Google browser, are seeing a pop-up message advising them “there’s no need to download a new web browser.”

If Edge is as good as its manufacturer claims it to be, what’s with the heavy handed tactics? Won’t consumers — once they’ve “seen the light” — switch to Edge of their own accord? Whether the ploy will be effective remains to be seen. Data from Statcounter reveals about four percent of web users had installed Edge so far this year, putting it slightly ahead of Mozilla Firefox, but still way behind Safari, the Apple browser, and Chrome.

Windows 11 was launched in October 2021, but it is unclear how many users have so far migrated from Windows 10 to 11. Given well over a billion people have either the Windows 10 or 11 OS installed on their computers, with the majority likely still using 10, the “uptake” of Edge can only increase as the rollout of Windows 11 continues.