We've come to wish you an unhappy birthday: Microsoft to yank services from Internet Explorer, kill off Legacy Edge by 2021

You need to give that plate back to us after you've finished your cake. Yes the fork too. We'll get your coat


The clock is ticking. Microsoft has warned customers its services won't be supported on the veteran browser within the year.

To be fair to the Windows giant, it has been making determined efforts to kill off the former leading browser for some time now, telling customers it was merely a compatibility solution before sticking the knife in a little deeper earlier this year.

Yesterday the company announced that it would be pulling support for the browser from Microsoft 365 apps and services (including the likes of Sharepoint) by this time next year. The lights will be turned off for some components even earlier – the Teams web app will stop supporting Internet Explorer 11 from 30 November 2020.

The announcement came as Internet Explorer was tucking into its 25th birthday cake. The original, a breathed-over version of Spyglass, debuted on 16 August 1995 before being swiftly superseded in the same year by IE2. 1996's IE3 was a considerably more capable beast, and the browser built up market share before enduring a precipitous decline following Internet Explorer 6.

Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows was also a factor in delights such as the infamous browser ballot before it was eventually relegated to the thing you use to download Chrome. Even in that it was eventually replaced by the unloved Edge.

The final release, the default for Windows 8.1, turned up in 2013 before being replaced by the doomed Edge browser in Windows 10.

Security updates for the legacy incarnation of Edge will come to an end after 9 March 2021.

Microsoft's latest effort, the Chromium-based Edge, will turn up in new Windows updates (from Windows 10 20H2) and features an IE11 compatibility mode aimed at enterprises that just can't let go of that one, weird app that requires the quirks of the elderly browser.

According to stats wrangler NetMarketShare, IE11 is currently the fourth-placed desktop browser, behind Edge but ahead of Safari.

"We want to be clear," insisted Microsoft, "that IE 11 isn't going away."

What is going away, however, is support for the loathed browser from the company's Microsoft 365 line-up.

No flowers. ®

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