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The End of Internet Explorer: Why Is Microsoft Retiring the Web Browser?

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|Mar 17|magazine6 min read

Nearly 25 percent of web surfers use Internet Explorer, but very few will be sad to see the struggling technology go away. Microsoft announced today that it will shut down the browser in the next couple of years, offering tech support through the end of 2016.

Internet Explorer’s accounted for 95 percent of all web site visits during its golden age, but a long string of security issues and several stronger rivals eventually wore the once-great browser down.

The service launched in August of 1995 and was unchallenged as a browser until the mid 2000s when Firefox came along. Chrome followed in 2009, and along with Firefox slowly began to pull users away. After this, the real trouble started.

In 2006, hundreds of vulnerabilities inside Internet Explorer were discovered by researchers. These would potentially allow rogue websites to steal information or even take over users’ computers. Then 2008, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) recommended that users disable ActiveX controls inside the browser because of—you guessed it—security concerns.  And just last summer, CERT suggested it not be used at all until it was patched.

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By the time reports were released that Internet Explorer 10 was more secure than most of its rivals, it was too late. The damage to the brand had been done and there was no turning back.

Although in the short term Internet Explorer will no doubt be remembered for these negative points, long term memory will be kinder, shedding a light on a product that was innovative from its inception.

Windows 10, which was unveiled in January, will come with Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new browsing system, when it launches.

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Information sourced from Yahoo!