Internet Explorer has been ‘retired’ by Microsoft, ushering in the end of an era

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You may love it, you may loathe it, but you probably grew up with it. Now, it’s gone.

The tech giant Microsoft has “retired” its Internet Explorer web browser as of Wednesday. The ubiquitous blue and white “e,” sometimes featuring a gold band, will be disappearing from computers around the world, and the internet — at least some of it — is in mourning.

“I’m from the generation that started my #internet journey in the early 2000s through IE. Thank you IE for expanding my knowledge during childhood, through the click of a button,” wrote one post on Twitter, where #RIPInternetExplorer was trending.

“Sad to see it go,” tweeted one individual; “last of the old guard,” said another.

Many online grew nostalgic about the web browser that was launched in 1995 and was dominant for many years during the days of dial-up internet. others lamented its lack of speed and said good riddance.

“I’ll miss using Internet Explorer to only ever download another browser,” teased one individual as many referred to the popularity of competitor browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox.

The decision went into effect Wednesday but was announced by Microsoft in a memo last year. “The Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10,” the company said, adding separately that it will continue to support some forms of Explorer.

In its place will be “Microsoft Edge,” a browser launched in 2015, which it said was “a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer.” It may be a comfort to some that “Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (‘IE mode’) built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge,” the company said.

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Although it’s the end of an online era for many, the shift will have real-life consequences in some nations, mostly in Asia, which still widely rely on Internet Explorer for administrative affairs.

In Japan, business have warned that the change could cause headaches “for months” to come, Nikkei Asia reported, citing one Tokyo-based software developer that said it was inundated with requests for help from government agencies and financial institutions. The Japan Times also cited a poll that found 49 percent of 350 Japanese companies surveyed in March said they were still using Internet Explorer.

In South Korea, too, fears were reported in some government agencies that use the browser, including the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Water Resources Corp., local media reported.

Amar Nadhir, Min Joo Kim and Michelle Ye Hee Lee contributed to this report.

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