After being the top dog of Internet browsers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Internet Explorer (IE) is finally gone. As of June 15, 2022, Microsoft dropped the web browser from support and replaced it with Edge.
IE ushered in the age of connection to the world in 1995 and held a majority of the browser market share for many years. But a poor reputation for usability and the release of newer technologies like Google Chrome made it less relevant.
In 2014, Internet Explorer somehow still held about 59% of the global market share, with Chrome at 21%. Just two years later, though, IE lost its top spot to Chrome and trailed behind another newcomer, Apple’s home-grown browser, Safari.
In 2015, the writing was already on the wall when Microsoft released a new browser called Edge. With it destined to take IE’s place as the official browser installed on Windows systems, Microsoft quickly began to change its guidance regarding IE.
The takeover wasn’t immediate, however, as Microsoft opted to initially write its new software from the ground up. This meant it had some huge ground to cover to reach feature parity with the rest of the market. In December of 2018, Microsoft decided to scrap the project and rebuild the browser using Google’s Chromium browser as its core technology.
In June of 2020, Microsoft began the automatic rollout of the new version via Windows Update for Windows 7, 8, and 10. It is now the world’s second most popular browser, just behind its older sibling, Google Chrome.
It’s inevitable, the longer technology is driving work and home life, that we’re going to lose some of our favorites. Adobe Flash Player is another technology that used to be widely used and is now gone.
So, now that IE has reached its end of life (EOL), what happens next?
“IE Mode” in Microsoft Edge
According to Microsoft, now that IE is officially out of support it will redirect users to an emulated “IE Mode” within Edge. Over the next few months, the new experience be launched. When it does, if you open IE, it will instead open Microsoft Edge with IE mode.
To ease the transition away from Internet Explorer, Microsoft added IE Mode to Edge. This mode makes it possible for organizations to still use legacy sites that may have worked best in IE. It uses the Trident MSHTML engine from IE11 to do this.
When in IE mode, you’ll still see the Internet Explorer icon on your device. But if you open it, you’ll actually be in Microsoft Edge. Neat.
Removing Internet Explorer Icons
Microsoft isn’t yet getting rid of the IE icons that appear in places like the taskbar and Start menu on Windows. But it will in a future update. Users can expect to see those removed at some point.
Edge Will Import Browser Data from IE
What about your favorites, saved passwords, and other settings that you have in IE? Microsoft Edge will import these from Internet Explorer for you, so they’re not lost. This will include things like your browsing history and other data stored in the browser. You’ll then be able to access these in the Microsoft Edge’s settings area.
What Do You Need to Do?
Uninstall the Browser
It’s risky to keep older technology that is no longer supported on your system. Cybercriminals love to exploit older tools that are not receiving any security updates. This leaves an open invitation to breach your network. Manufacturers are never going to address these because they retired the software.
Outdated technology costs enterprises approximately 47% more when they suffer a data breach. As compared to those with updated tools.
You should transition your stored information to Microsoft Edge (or another trusted browser). Then uninstall IE from your device or devices.
Train Employees How to Use IE Mode in Edge
A scenario that businesses want to avoid is what happened to many organizations in Japan. Several government and corporate users weren’t prepared for the retirement of IE.
It was reported that IT and engineering departments received many calls for help. This was due to unpreparedness for the browser’s demise. Although it came with warnings, it was a shock to many that used legacy sites that need IE to work. This included the customers of government agencies, financial institutions, and other organizations.
This left them scrambling to try to figure out what to do at the last minute. They still needed access to employee attendance management, and other online tools.
Of course, with IE mode in Edge, this transition didn’t need to be so chaotic. But without communication or training, more than 20% of affected users hadn’t figured out what to do.
Make sure you communicate with your team what to do. Companies can automate IE mode for their users so that it launches automatically.
Train Employees on Microsoft Edge Features
Microsoft Edge has a lot of benefits over IE and other browsers. It’s faster and more responsive than Internet Explorer. It also has comprehensive security controls (including password breach monitoring). And has unique features such as “collections.”
But with all new tools, if you want employees to use them proficiently, they need to have a chance to learn them. Take the time to transition right, and have your employees trained on Edge.
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You don’t have to panic when a technology you use retires. We can help you upgrade well ahead of any deadlines. Reach out today to schedule a technology consultation.