Graduating from high school in 1999 meant I enjoyed the opportunity to grow up without the influence of cell phones, the internet, and social media. It also meant that while I was a teenager these things began to creep into the general population. This gave me the distinct advantage of easily learning the digital world and prevailing in the use of such witchery while it baffled many of those already in the workforce. It also means that in the opinionated war between Internet Explorer (IE) and all other browsers, I understand why IE needed to retire.
The Rise and Fall of IE
Microsoft originally released Internet Explorer 1.0 in August 1995. In the 90’s and early 2000’s IE and Netscape were basically the only browsers available. At the time, everything digital was in it’s relative infancy and IE worked just fine. Since Microsoft had a majority market share they became relaxed in maintaining the browser; meaning Microsoft was lax in their development standards and implementation of updates and corrections to the platform.
Website are built on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the CSS specifications are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Unfortunately, IE has a reputation among developers of not conforming to these community standards. Thus, many websites seemed ‘glitchy’ or not to work at all in Internet Explorer (even though the websites were built to code). Therefore, if your website, Acme Widgets, was not working as expected on IE your clients just assumed there was a problem with the website– not realizing that the issue actually lies with the browser. At any rate, web developers would implement work-arounds in the website so that it would work as intended in IE.
The IE platform wasn’t scalable and continued to have issues with security, data protection, and following updated and growing CSS guidelines. As expected, when you build a house on a faulty foundation it is not a strong and sturdy building. Structural flaws can cause other issues too, such as broken water lines under the house, cracked walls, broken windows, and bent door frames. If left untreated, a faulty foundation can ruin the structure itself. Also, the house will be more likely to be badly damaged in the case of an earthquake. This is essentially what happened to IE, and now it is just an abandoned old building that hardly anyone uses.
Mid-2016 brought a huge announcement from Microsoft that they would stop security updates and technical support for IE 10 & Windows 8 (and any older versions). The previous year’s release of Windows 10 and the new Edge browser set the stage to quit supporting Internet Explorer all together. Here we are a few years later and IE is still accessible and available to users. These die-hard Internet Explorer users are starting to see more and more issues as companies choose not to write ‘fixes’ to their websites and SAAS software for the non-CSS-compliant and outdated IE platform.
The world continues to develop new concepts like digital currency; therefore, we can expect technology to get antiquated at a faster rate. After 20 years, Internet Explorer has retired so we should let it fade off into the sunset. To get the best results while surfing the web, we suggest using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. There are plenty of amazing things that you will enjoy on supported browsers – safer connections, quicker connections, and conforming CSS.
Even Your Desktop Shortcuts Avoid IE!
Meme by naminexblade