In the summer, Microsoft confirmed it would kill off defunct web browsers Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy, as plans for a phased termination are brought to a close.
However, a sizable pool of users have remained loyal to Internet Explorer, forcing Microsoft to take additional steps to incentivize switching to the new Chromium-based Edge.
Now, when an Internet Explorer user visits an incompatible site - of which there are currently more than 1,000 - the page will be launched automatically in Microsoft Edge, along with a message that reads: “This website doesn’t work in Internet Explorer”.
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The roster of websites that do not support Internet Explorer is ever-expanding and currently includes popular services Twitter, Instagram, Google Drive, Yahoo Mail and more.
Internet Explorer end-of-life
Internet Explorer has long been the butt of jokes in the technology community, ridiculed for its speed issues and clunky user interface. The web browser’s reputational decline is writ large in its market share, which currently sits at a mere 1.19% according to StatCounter data (down from circa 95% at its peak).
The move to retire the browser, which first hit the scene in 1995, can be seen as an admission of its growing irrelevance to modern users.
“Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers - like the new Microsoft Edge - have enabled better, more innovative online experiences,” said Microsoft.
“We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsible web access.”
However, despite the fact Microsoft is sunsetting Internet Explorer in favor of a new flagship browser, tens of millions of people continue to use the outdated service - and this has pushed the firm to take further action.
Not only will certain webpages now redirect automatically to Edge, but Microsoft will also continue to withdraw support for Internet Explorer from its product suite.
As of November 13, users will no longer be able to log into their Microsoft accounts via Internet Explorer, Microsoft Teams will drop support at the end of the same month and, by August 17 2021, no Microsoft 365 app will be compatible with the browser.
After these deadlines have passed, users of the unsupported web browser will suffer a “degraded experience”; new Microsoft 365 features will be unavailable to stragglers and existing web apps will be disabled.
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