RIP Microsoft Internet Explorer – Microsoft Is Killing You Off!

[youtube]At its peak, Internet Explorer accounted for 95% of website visits – as of today, about 1 in 4 web users still call it their browser of choice. But Microsoft has announced that after 19 years, they’re gradually going to end support for IE. From security risks to the rising of more powerful rivals, a number of factors contributed to this demise.

The Rise & Fall of Explorer

  • Explorer started out as a rebranded version of Spyglass Mosaic, which was based loosely on a browser developed by Marc Andreessen. It was released on August 16, 1995.
  • By that time, Andreessen had his own version of NCSA Mosaic – the two browsers became rivals over the next several years. When Netscape came out with JavaScript, Microsoft released Cascading Style Sheets. The companies went back-and-forth in an intense head-to-head competition, until in 1999 Netscape merged with AOL.
  • Another competitor emerged in 2004 – Firefox. It was the first browser to really pose a threat to IE. Then in 2008 Google released Chrome, another alternative browser. Both, like IE, were free and slowly began to take away from IE’s market share.
  • Most troublesome of all were the highly published security issues in later years. In 2006 hundreds of vulnerabilities were discovered that researchers found could allow websites to steal information or take control of computers. PC World Magazine named IE 6 the eighth worst product of all time and called it “the least secure software on the planet.”
  • In 2008 the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said users should turn off the ActiveX controls on IE due to security concerns. Last summer the CERT told users to stop using Explorer altogether until that problem was fixed.
  • By last year, Explorer was lagging far behind Chrome in terms of users. Some reports found that IE 10 was actually more secure than its rival browsers, but it was too late.

Microsoft has announced a new browser launching with Widows 10 later this year, Project Spartan. Support for Explorer will last until at least 2016.

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Internet explorer