Internet Explorer Will Be Retired In June: Here's What You Need To Do

It was years, maybe even decades, in the making, but the giant will finally be put to sleep in a little over a month. One of the pioneers of the internet, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, has served its purpose and can no longer continue down its path to remain relevant in today's web. The browser has also become a liability for the company, especially considering the hundreds of holes that need to be patched up first before it can even be considered minimally safe. Internet Explorer's story will finally come to an end in June, but its remaining users probably shouldn't wait until the last minute to make sure they're ready to jump ship.

Internet Explorer was launched more than 26 years ago to compete with Netscape Navigator as the browser for the then-fledgling World Wide Web. Its latest version, Internet Explorer 11, came out in 2013 and has seen very little change over past years except in critical security and bug fixes. During that time, Microsoft has been preparing Edge as its replacement, and the younger browser is ready to accept IE's refugees. Not all, however, are keen on migrating, but sometimes not due to a lack of desire to move away from the ancient software.

At this point, most if not all, of IE's remaining users are businesses and organizations that have tied themselves deeply into the browser and some of its features. It might simply be a matter of a website or internal portal requiring Internet Explorer for no technical reason, or it might be relying on ancient technologies that only work with that browser. Either way, the end is nigh, and Microsoft is urging those remaining users to prepare now rather than wait for the deadline.

It's time to switch to Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge might not be a perfect stand-in for Internet Explorer, but the features it lacks will probably be ones that were removed for a good reason. That said, the newer browser does have an IE mode that will make it easier to test websites that absolutely depend on IE and IE only. At this point, organizations should have already migrated most of their critical software away from Internet Explorer, so they should just be picking out leftovers and low-hanging fruit by now.

Microsoft is also urging companies to set their own deadline ahead of the June 15 date to retire their use of Internet Explorer. Enforcing Windows' "Disable IE" policy can help move people away from the browser since it will prevent Internet Explorer from launching as a standalone program. That won't affect Edge's IE mode, though, giving users enough time to import their IE data before the inevitable happens.

Edge is technically lighter, more flexible, and more up-to-date with the latest web standards and security measures, but it isn't always better than Internet Explorer in some regards. Microsoft has recently been criticized for bloating Edge with more features that are built into the browser rather than existing as optional add-ons. Some of those features, like the upcoming free VPN, might be warranted, but others related to shopping and finance are considered unnecessary. At this rate, it might only be a matter of time before Edge catches up to its predecessor unless Microsoft turns the ship around.