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Microsoft To Kill Off Internet Explorer By 2021

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Microsoft announced on Tuesday August 18 that it will be removing Internet Explorer from the web effective August 17, 2021.

In a blog post on Tuesday evening, Microsoft also revealed that 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.

File image of Windows Internet Explorer. Source: CNET

Replacing the browser is Microsoft Edge, the computer giant’s new browser which relies on Chromium open-source software, with Edge launching in 2015. That gives Edge more features than Internet Explorer.

This means that after the above dates, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11.

For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11.

“We believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible,” Microsoft said.

Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today.

Internet Explorer on Windows 8, the preceding Windows software to Windows 10. Source: File

Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences.

“We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more,”it noted.

The announcement has been a long time coming, after Microsoft launched its Edge browser five years ago.

In 2015, Microsoft had confirmed that it intends to drop the Internet Explorer brand and move to the new Edge, which at the time was codenamed Project Spartan.

Internet Explorer was once the most popular browser until Chrome came into the picture. However, it got outpaced in terms of features and functionality and Chrome came to dominate the scenes.

Microsoft decided to try again with Microsoft Edge but they failed miserably. This led them to completely change Microsoft Edge’s engine by basing it on Chromium, which powers Chrome.

Microsoft started working on the new Chromium based Microsoft Edge nearly two years received positive reviews from users. The tech giant started rolling out this browser alongside Windows 10 and will be standard in future Windows updates.

In preparation for the era of Edge, Microsoft announced that the browser will become part of a system update and the option of uninstalling it won’t be available.

“The new version of Microsoft Edge is included in a Windows system update, so the option to uninstall it or use the legacy version of Microsoft Edge will no longer be available,” they revealed in their blog post.

Screengrab of the new Microsoft Edge released in 2020. Source: CNET

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