Goodbye Internet Explorer, Only Government Babus are Going to Miss You


Goodbye Internet Explorer, Only Government Babus are Going to Miss You

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. Travel bloggers had to sit at home for two months, Supreme Court judges had to figure out video conferencing, and millennials had to drink haldi doodh everyday to improve their immunity. Everyone’s hoping for a brighter and better 2021, and the signs are good.

Microsoft has decided to retire Internet Explorer in 2021.

Remember Internet Explorer? It used to come bundled with Windows and was our gateway to the Internet, on a dial-up connection where we had to make sure no one picked a telephone call or we’d lose connectivity. It was extremely slow, buggy, would freeze easily, and yet was our first interface to experience the “world wide web”. However, all good (and shitty) things must come to an end, and so is the legendary Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has outlined a timetable to phase out Internet Explorer 11, starting November 30. The legacy Edge browser, will reach its end of life in March 2021. Microsoft365 apps and services will no longer support the browser starting August 17, 2021. The new and snazzier Chromium-based Edge browser takes their place. “Customers have made business-critical investments in IE11 legacy apps and we respect that those apps are still functioning,” the company said, stating that it aims to bring all their existing users to the Chromium based Microsoft Edge.

The new development might send babus in government agencies into a tizzy since many websites have been designed keeping Internet Explorer in mind. Nothing says Government bureaucracy like betting everything on the slowest browser in the market. But they needn’t worry. The new browser, which has already been rolled into devices with the latest update, will come with an “Internet-Explorer mode” that allows older websites that only support IE to run seamlessly on Edge Chromium. Babus can heave a sigh of relief.

It is not only going to be the end of Internet Explorer the browser, but also the end of an era. Internet Explorer had been the butt of punchlines for years, with quips like, “If Internet Explorer can have the confidence to ask you to make it your default browser, why can’t you ask the girl out?” There are Twitter parody accounts dedicated to Internet Explorer that basically tweet news from years back, just to poke fun at how “slow” the browser really is.

So long, Internet Explorer. We will miss you (not).