When the internet was young, and people were just about to learn about the new World Wide Web, Microsoft was already on top.
With its Internet Explorer web browser, Microsoft engaged in the first-ever web browser war, and became the monopoly after bundling the web browser with its Microsoft Windows operating system. The extent of its dominance was so great that Microsoft commanded 90% of the young internet market.
As a result, web developers and web designer had to start creating websites around what Internet Explorer could or could not do.
As all empires eventually fall, Microsoft’s ubiquitous presence started fading as it continually ignored web standards and continually missed update. Microsoft did not follow the guidelines set by the World Wide Web Consortium – the organization that establishes standards for web technologies.
And since Google introduced Chrome, Mozilla with Firefox and more, Microsoft's Internet Explorer struggled to keep up with the stupendously fast adoption and growth of the web. This made websites running on Internet Explorer to often look different than on others like Opera and Firefox.
Google Search is the world's largest search engine. Knowing that Internet Explorer is no longer a safe product and people have starting abandoning the product, the search engine announced that it is ending its support for the browser.
“We did the math. It’s time,” said Malte Ubl, the Principal Software Engineer and Engineering Director at Google.
To clarify, “ended support” does not mean that Google cannot be accessed from Internet Explorer. Instead, people who still use Internet Explorer will see Google Search in its basic form, showing basic results pages that are stripped down from modern features.
“Ended support” means none of Google’s new features are going to be compatible with Internet Explorer.
Google is certain because at this time, only 1.32% of the market is still using Internet Explorer on their desktop computer.
For a search engine that is so huge, the cost for the development is extremely high.
Because of this, the Google engineer stated that it’s not justifiable to continue developing features for a segment of the market that small.
As a web developer this is one of the happiest announcements in a while: Google Search ended support for IE11 in its main product (you can still search but will get a fallback experience). I'm mostly posting this so you can send it to your boss . We did the Math. It is time.
— Malte Ubl (@cramforce) October 1, 2021
Internet Explorer was first released back in 2013, alongside Windows 8.1.
But because Windows 7 was so popular back then, and the adoption of Windows 8 was slow, Microsoft had to port back Internet Explorer 11 to Windows 7 in order to gain more users.
Internet Explorer 11 is the eleventh version of the Internet Explorer web browser, and also the last.
This is because Microsoft has made Edge the default browser in newer versions of Windows.
Since then, Microsoft has reconfigured Internet Explorer 11 to run websites based on legacy HTML technologies.
Due to the decreasing number of users, many others started dumping the web browser. And this led to the brand's demise.
With the release of Windows 11, the Internet Explorer brand is no more. The web browser in no longer preinstalled, and Microsoft has put Edge as the official replacement for Internet Explorer.
With Microsoft is moving on from Internet Explorer, so should Google. And with them, so should everyone else.