If you’re still using Internet Explorer (IE) on your computer, stop it. This is the overwhelming gist of a blog post published by Microsoft speaking primarily to IT professionals, but its message ultimately reaches end users like us.
The blog post is titled “The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser,” and goes on to detail how using this dated web browser creates what’s known as “technical debt” within businesses. Technical debt collects all of the implied costs of additional work caused by opting for easier or incumbent technology solutions rather than adopting modern tools that would take longer to implement but solve more problems long term.
Because IE isn’t even considered by a growing majority of web developers, people and businesses using the browser to access modern websites are at an inherent disadvantage. Certain materials or features won’t even be available to them on modern websites through IE today.
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In fact, Microsoft’s Chris Jackson even refers to IE as a “compatibility solution” rather than a true web browser in the closing arguments of his post. And, that’s how the company has been treating IE for several years, at least since the debut of Windows 10, yet apparently far too many businesses are still relying on the app.
But, what’s the alternative?
The issue with Microsoft’s missive regarding the perils of using IE in 2019 is that the alternative that it presented with the launch of Windows 10, Edge, may work just fine for most end users, but it runs on different standards than the most popular browser today, Google’s Chrome, as well as others such as Mozilla Firefox.
That’s why Microsoft is finally rebuilding its Edge browser to run on Google’s Chromium backend web standards. This will make the browser more immediately compatible with the rest of the internet, but critics of the move say this will also cede a bit more control to Google regarding common web standards.
It’s unknown currently when that change will be implemented, but the upcoming April 2019 Update is a safe bet.
The technology world at large has been trying to send IE off to the farm for years, but this message from Microsoft is the strongest yet that it plans to do the deed itself soon enough. Prepare yourselves for the end of an era … and start using a decent web browser already.
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Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.