Microsoft will offer a new Web browser to replace Internet Explorer when it unveils Windows 10, the company announced.
It came to us in 1995 and changed our lives.
Now its days are numbered.
At its recent Microsoft Convergence conference, Microsoft announced it will phase out Internet Explorer from its upcoming version of its operating system, Windows 10. The problematic but still-popular web browser will be replaced by a new, more responsive browser currently named Project Spartan but expecting to get a new name when run out to the public.
The new browser will include a personal Web assistant, a different layout and new tools to work with for both keyboards and styluses.
IE currently has numerous competitors, the most popular of which is Google Chrome, which data firm StatCounter says has 43 percent of the global browser market. Other estimates put Internet Explorer at about 30 percent of the marketplace.
There have been 11 versions of IE issued by Microsoft, the last in late 2013. IE entered the marketplace following the release of Netscape Navigator, and Netscape finally sold itself to AOL in 1999.
IE, which has always been considered slow in comparison to other newer browsers, also did not work well with the new players in the game, mobile devices.
“The platform isn’t cutting it on mobile devices and that is where the focus is today,’’ said S&P Capital analyst Angelo Zino in an interview with USA Today. “At one point, IE commanded north of 80 percent share of the browser market but with the explosion in mobility that market share has dwindled.”
The news of IE’s demise was met with derisive dismissal within the industry but with some sense of sadness among consumers who have been using it for the better part of 20 years.
“When you think of Internet Explorer the first thing you think of is that it is slow,’’ said Kristina Monilos of AdWeek to National Public Radio. “Or, ‘that still exists?’”
“Let’s be honest, there is not a huge amount wrong with Internet Explorer these days,’’ said Ian Morris of techradar.com. “So while Microsoft’s decision to kill off the name ‘Internet Explorer’ is sad, it’s almost not that much of a surprise. After all, post-IE6 its name has more or less been mud.”
Internet Explorer isn’t really going anywhere; Microsoft is going to continue to support it as long as users are running older Microsoft operating systems. And that is good news to consumers who have grown accustomed to IE for the past 20 years.
“It’s all I use and I don’t like change,’’ said Kim Kauer, a businesswoman from Michigan who responded to an NPR callout on Facebook. “I’ll hang on to my old (computer devices and software) as long as possible.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.