In 1995 I got my first Internet-connected computer – a Gateway laptop with an 80386 CPU and a 14,400 baud modem. It changed my world in a number of ways:
- I had not had my own computer since leaving Canada two years earlier;
- It was my first portable computer – I loved not having to be tied to a desk; and
- It was my first Internet-connected computer. While I had been on electronic bulletin boards (BBSes) for nearly a decade, the Internet was a new thing for me.
When I say that it was Internet-connected, I should clarify: I bought the laptop (used from a couple of tourists), and when one of my reservists found out I had it, he gave me his credentials to connect to the his dial-up Internet account.
It was a terrible experience.
When I say that, I should clarify. Because I was used to connecting using a text-based terminal program, the Internet looked… well, terrible.
And then, a few days later, someone asked me what browser I preferred. I did not even understand the question, so they explained to me that in order to access the world wide web, you need a web browser. At the time, there were three, but the real battle was between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
I do not remember which I opted for first; I do know that over the course of the next few I went back and forth between the two, and then it was Internet Explorer, and then it was Google Chrome. During that time I dabbled with Firefox, and Safari on my Apple devices. I always went back to Chrome, and when I was working for (or contracting to) Microsoft, it was IE.
A few years ago Microsoft introduced a new web browser: Edge. The first few iterations of it were nothing great. However when the new Edge was released, and when I learned about the functionality of it (especially having multiple profiles logged in to separate sessions), I loved it. It became my default browser a few months ago.
Today Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer, the browser that has been around since the mid-1990s, will be retired and will go out of support on June 22, 2022 for most versions of Windows. See article It is truly the end of an era.
For those who are worried about compatibility, Microsoft is going to maintain IE Mode in Microsoft Edge through at least 2029. That gives you at least eight years to modernize your sites.
It is sad to see such an old technology retired… but with the massive improvements to Microsoft Edge, there really is no need to maintain the legacy browser.
Goodbye Internet Explorer… Farewell, and Amen.