It's a big week for 90s Windows nostalgia. Not only are the band from the Windows 95 CD-ROM reforming for the Summer Game Fest, Microsoft are finally binning the browser you loved to hate. They announced this week that they're retiring Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 next June, instead pushing towards people to their newer and better browser, Edge. IE has effectively been dead for years but it's still good to see it go.
Microsoft announced this week that "the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10." Some niche business setups will keep it going but broadly yep, get in the bin.
If you still use IE, Microsoft suggest you switch over to their new browser, Edge. I hear that's actually quite good these days? It's basically the guts of Chrome but without the Google. But I think I'm too invested in all Chrome's Android tie-in behaviours to swap.
Dear god, please let this push companies to update websites which require Internet Explorer to access vital systems. I'm horrified by how many governments and financial services around the world still don't work in newer, better browsers. Edge does have an Internet Explorer compatibility mode but I've found it didn't work with every hateful and vital website I've encountered. Microsoft commissioned a survey of enterprises this year and found they used an average of 1678 web applications (either internal custom-built or propietary) which required Internet Explorer. Nightmare. But the whole point of that survey was to help persuade businesses to use Edge for its compatibility mode and ughhh.
Internet Explorer, the hateful thing, is the browser that got Microsoft found guilty of unlawful monopolisation. The US government accused Microsoft of abusing their monopoly and trying to muscle out rival browsers like Netscape Navigator (which wasn't initially free!) by tying Internet Explorer into Windows. At one point in the antitrust trial, the court ruled Microsoft must break up into several parts, though they dodged this on appeal. See this oral history of the lawsuit for more, it's an interesting one.
This all sent me down an Internet Archive hole of ancient Internet Explorer websites, and I've found some hot gift ideas for the millenium.