In 2015, Microsoft discontinued updates for its once-popular web browser Internet Explorer. For years, IE was the standard, not necessarily because it was the best (it wasn’t) or because it was the safest (wasn’t that either), but because it came bundled with the most popular operating system on the planet, Windows.
Today, fewer than three percent of all internet surfers use Internet Explorer as their browser. Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari lead the list. Even the rather obscure Opera browser is a tick ahead of IE.
The reasons for bailing on Explorer are numerous. There are security concerns and problems with how it actually functions. But, most importantly, while IE was never a great browser for rendering websites, it is downright God awful today. At its peak, developers frequently had to create code to workaround the problems in Explorer. Today, they completely ignore it and the vast majority of websites look awful using it.
There are some old, legacy systems that still require the use of Internet Explorer. These were typically built using Microsoft products meant to work specifically with IE. They were never updated for modern technology and now, like the browser they were built for, they too are out of date.
In February, Microsoft said it was time to stop using the browser in a blog post. It was a rather stunning fall considering the popularity of the software, but not surprising.
Many websites have also discontinued support for the browser. For example, Intuit, who handles merchant processing for the bulk of our invoicing, announced it would no longer support IE. A number of our customers discovered this when they attempted to pay an invoice using Internet Explorer.
As developers who want to produce the best and most modern websites, we have not considered Explorer in our projects for several years. And our firmest recommendation is for our customers to discontinue its use immediately.
To be honest, the experience in Google Chrome is far superior anyway.