Internet Explorer officially “retired”

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Recently, the official Weibo of Microsoft Edge browser announced that IE browser will be officially retired on June 16, 2022, and the baton of IE browser will be taken over by Edge. According to Microsoft’s official data, the Edge browser desktop market share has recently exceeded 10%.

After 27 years, the IE browser will officially withdraw from the stage.

In fact, the news of the retirement of Internet Explorer is not surprising. As early as March 2015, Microsoft has confirmed that it will abandon the IE brand. In March of this year, Microsoft once again issued a new warning in the Windows Message Center, reminding users that the IE browser will be officially retired in June. Coupled with today’s official announcement, the retirement of the IE browser is more like a farewell that lasts for many years.

“There is a buffer period for any product replacement. Previously, the coexistence of IE browser and Edge browser was due to buffering and giving users a smooth transition time,” said the co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center of Zhejiang University International Business School. , researcher Pan Helin believes that Microsoft’s official announcement of the retirement of the IE browser means that the buffer period for IE and Edge product replacement is over, and objectively, IE browser users will be forced to update their PC devices and transition to a new system.

From glory to decline

“As the default browser of Windows 95, IE quickly occupied the market. In 2001, IE launched the most classic version 6.0. Three years later, it successfully became the browser with the largest market share in the world, and it reached its peak this year. , occupying 95% of the global market share. That was the golden age of IE browser.”

This is Microsoft’s summary of the “golden age” of Internet Explorer. From its birth in 1995 to 2013, IE has released a total of 11 versions, and it once ranked the top two in the browser market together with Firefox.

Before 2005, it belonged to the era of IE browser. “I remember when I first started surfing the Internet around 2002. At that time, there were actually Opera browsers, QQ browsers, etc., but the default choice was IE browser.” A senior netizen recalled to the 21st Century Business Herald reporter, “It’s mainly because other browsers need additional downloads. In terms of the network speed at that time, it still takes time to download software, and in terms of experience, there are no essential changes in several browsers, so I mainly use IE to browse device.”

However, from 2006 to 2009, IE’s market share slowly declined. Facing competition from Google Chrome, Firefox and other similar products, IE version 9 adds new features such as dragging URLs and bookmarks to the Windows taskbar, unified download manager, recently visited sites, etc. – However, these features already exist on other browsers, and there is no unique competitive advantage.

Today, the glorious era of IE has come to an end quietly, which can be seen from the departure of users. Before being interviewed by the 21st Century Business Herald reporter, Xiao Wu even thought that the Edge browser that comes with Windows today is the IE browser. She said that since the IE browser experience became slow and some web pages could not be opened, she no longer used IE, and the last time she used it was on the computer in the computer room of the university.

Likewise, loyal users of IE had to leave. Since the launch of the IE browser, Mr. Wang has used IE as the main browser. Beginning in 2021, he found that some web pages were not fully displayed and had to gradually give up using the IE browser.

According to data from statcounter, an American website traffic monitoring agency, the market share of IE dropped from 64.97% in January 2009, and completely lost the top spot in the browser market in May 2012 – IE’s market share fell to 28.87%, at this time the share of Chrome browser has reached 29.15%.

In the following year, IE’s market share experienced a brief rebound and fluctuation, but the situation was irreversible. Safari browser surpassed IE’s share for the first time in September 2014. It has remained below 10% since August 2015, and reached 0.39% in April 2022.

Counting down the road to retirement of IE browser is a long farewell. In March 2015, Microsoft stated that the new brand Edge would be enabled in the browser that comes with the new generation of Windows operating systems; in the same year, Microsoft stopped providing technical support for multiple old versions of IE browsers and officially announced that it would abandon the IE brand. In 2020, Microsoft announced that it would cut off IE’s access to some services. From August 17th, IE will no longer support Microsoft’s online services, including Office365, OneDrive, Outlook, etc. In March of this year, Microsoft once again released the wind of IE’s retirement.

These actions have long foreshadowed a signal: IE is about to withdraw from the stage of history. “The original IE function is relatively simple and has been gradually abandoned by users, so the market share is declining.” Pan Helin analyzed to the 21st Century Business Herald reporter, “Microsoft has been unsuccessful in promoting mobile phone systems, and its system graphics The interface is related, and the combination of IE and mobile terminals is too weak.”

“(IE browser) is just an accessory product with its own functionality that comes with the operating system. In the process, it is difficult to change the business logic of IE browser itself.” Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research, told 21st Century Economy Reporter. In his view, the elimination of IE browser essentially reflects the upgrading of Microsoft’s profit model and profit carrier.

Edge relay

The IE browser fell from the altar and then coexisted with the Edge browser. Today, the former has retired and the latter has taken over.

Edge browser is Microsoft’s browser after Windows 10. Microsoft’s introduction to Edge in its earnings report is: Microsoft Edge is our fast, secure browser that helps protect your data, with built-in shopping tools designed to save you time and money. Organizational tools like collections, vertical tabs, and immersive readers can help you make the most of your time while browsing, streaming, searching, sharing, and more.

Compared with IE, Edge has obvious advantages: it is smoother than IE, and the appearance UI is more in line with the user experience. In fact, the Edge browser born in the Windows 10 system has a lighter kernel design and faster performance in opening web pages. It also has functions such as “Internet Notes” and “Cortana Personal Assistant”, and supports iPassword, OneTab and other plug-ins.

“Edge is smoother and better looking than IE, and the main point is that it has a lot of extensions and can compete with Chrome and Firefox,” Pan Helin said. Microsoft will improve the user’s visual look and feel of the system’s visual interface in Windows 11. Its system It is also gradually aligning with Apple’s IOS to enhance the versatility of Windows in multi-device terminals. “So Microsoft is going to open multi-terminal system applications, not limited to PCs.”

Pan and Lin also pointed out that the withdrawal of IE means that the buffer period left for the replacement of old and new browsers is over. “In essence, Microsoft urges users to replace the new Windows system by replacing IE with a new browser,” Pan Helin pointed out, “This may not have a great impact in the private market, because there are many alternative products, but in the office field, IE’s The share is still high. For Microsoft, it’s actually pushing these inherent IE users to switch to the new system.”

However, since IE was no longer supported in 2015, the buffer period between the two has been as long as 7 years. “The coexistence of IE and Edge is because of buffering and giving users a smooth transition time, which is indeed related to retaining users.” Pan and Lin said.

In Zhang Yi’s view, the 7-year buffer period is mainly because the Edge browser was not ready before. Compared with IE, Edge’s business color can be described as pervasive. Now, after time-tested, Edge’s business model has not caused users to resent it and enabled it on a large scale. Therefore, Microsoft chose to stop IE browser at this time.

Source: 21st Century Business Herald

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