RIP Internet Explorer. Affectionately known as IE, the Microsoft Corporation this past week announced that Internet Explorer is officially being retired. While IE had for a long time been the number one browser on the market (mainly due to the fact that it was the only browser pre-installed on most PCs), other browsers have slowly been taking over its market share. Now, Chrome is the most-used browser by consumers, and IE has fallen way behind.
While the browser had been around since the mid-1990s, you’ll find very few – especially in the dev and testing world – that will miss it. IE was often little more than a nightmare.
Within the tech community, IE vulnerability problems had been known for years. Most consumers, however, didn’t realize the extent of the problems until last year when the potential security risks became widely known. Word got out that hackers were able to access your PC via malware due to vulnerabilities in IE.
In fact, in August 2014, The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) instructed users to cease using IE until security patches were in place.
But these were only a few of the latest issues in a string of problems with the browser that stretched back for years. In 2006, researchers found over 100 vulnerabilities that could allow a hacker to take over a user’s computer.
IE was also notorious for compatibility issues. Websites typically didn’t render the same between IE and all of the other browsers – or even between the different versions of IE. This meant that developers and QA testers would spend hours testing and debugging site issues to ensure that a website functioned and looked the same on IE as it did on other browsers.
IE will still be supported until 2016. Microsoft plans on releasing a new browser with a new name when it releases Windows 10 later this year. And most people hope that this new browser won’t inherit the problems of its forefather.