This Summer Internet Explorer will be no more
On 17th August 2021 Microsoft is retiring the historical browser
By Niccolò Maria Menozzi
The precise date to say goodbye to Internet Explorer is official: 17th August 2021. The Microsoft browser will be definitively abandoned. We say this with a sigh of relief and would like to add that it was about time! Let’s have a look at some advantages that can arise from this news.
As announced already in 2020 the days of Internet Explorer (IE) are numbered this summer and the event will be accompanied by a scorched earth policy: support for Microsoft services such as the Office365 suite, cloud storage Onedrive and Outlook will no longer be guaranteed. On 30th November the Microsoft Teams web app already started the procedure, cutting off the browser in question.
Over the years, Internet Explorer has not been able to stay up to date with other browsers, initially the younger siblings Firefox, Chrome and Safari which have meanwhile grown and continued to overtake IE. This was not the case at the beginning of the Internet, but since then the gap between these browsers has become increasingly clear, to the point that Internet Explorer has actually become a meme, its slowness proverbial.
The last release of Internet Explorer was back in 2013, version 11, but it is still used by many. All over the world, many old computers are still using the older versions of the Windows operating system and insist on using the browser.
It’s not just a question of compatibility with the services, the technologies and the more recent web sites, but also a question of security: these old OS’s leave doors open to all kinds of threats and are not equipped to deal with them.
In 2015 Internet Explorer was relaunched as Edge, perhaps an attempt at rebranding due to the negative characteristics associated with the product.
Although Edge is still active, it is not particularly appreciated by the users and Microsoft is planning to suspend support for the Legacy version of Edge, the original 2015 version, which is still widely used.
The last trace of Internet Explorer
To deal with the substantial number of old sites that have never been updated, Edge will offer an Explorer mode which will allow access to those sites without problems of retrocompatibility.
Despite this small gesture to protect this network of prehistoric sites the change of pace is clear and fortunately, and finally, we can turn the page and stop worrying about many problems that have plagued web development for the last seven or more years.
The advantages of the end of Internet Explorer
Many development and web design professionals, at least once in their career, have felt the fear associated with their clients asking for their new website to be compatible with IE.
Such technological obsolescence in certain companies has been a source of wonder.
Aside from the worrying personal experiences, why should we be so thrilled about this retirement? Let’s have a look at some points that make it a happy event.
- From an IT point of view, supporting IE requires the creation of code with lower performance standards that is heavy and slow to run. Unfortunately even the best browsers have to reduce their performance and speed to adapt to this code (in the case of smartphones, this also implies increased battery usage). Without IE the new browsers can reach their full potential, downloading sites and applications very quickly without wasting data.
- Certain resources that are useful for developers are not available on IE, which creates difficulty in the development of graphic interfaces and other more modern functions; abandoning IE means being able to make improvements that could otherwise cause issues for certain users.
- Maintaining the IE compatibility modes requires a lot of time (also testing that something works well on IE is complicated because not all operating systems support it as required); without IE the time saved can be used for more useful developments.
- Over time the support for IE has been constantly reduced on a global level, in terms of compatible resources available for developers, the discontinuation of IE increases the choice of technologies that can be for clients’ projects.
- As mentioned, IE has serious security problems, leaving it means being able to update the standards of older sites which to this date are too vulnerable.
For many companies Internet Explorer is a drag, it is difficult to get rid of due to technological compatibility questions of old sites or operating systems they still need.
The fact that Microsoft has decided to pull the plug is a known fact by months. You can use this opportunity to update your site or even explore the new technological offer of web apps. Better late than never!
If you are interested in adopting new online tools for your company, you now have one more reason to do so. Contact us!
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