Microsoft’s Internet Explorer may have been a trailblazer and innovator back in the infancy of the Web but it has already shown its age and the baggage it has accumulated over the decades. Of course, IE is old news and Edge has the edge on Microsoft’s web efforts but the company is now issuing a reminder to its Microsoft 365 customers to be prepared for the browser’s retirement next year. Unfortunately, the replacement it has prepared is leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths because of how Microsoft is pushing the otherwise good Chromium-based Edge down everyone’s throats.
To be clear, Internet Explorer 11, the last iteration of the venerable web browser, isn’t disappearing completely. Microsoft has far too many customers invested in internal apps and systems that are “IE-only” to remove all traces of Explorer from the Internet. What it is announcing is that Microsoft 365 will fully stop supporting IE 11 by August 2021, which pretty much ends any public-facing use of the browser.
It won’t be alone, though. In fact, “legacy Edge” will be retiring earlier in March 2021 when it will no longer receive even security updates. It’s probably for the best given how sub-par the home-made experience has been. Unfortunately, the remaining alternative that Microsoft has is losing ground because of Microsoft’s own shenanigans.
On technical merits alone, the Chromium-based new Microsoft Edge may have a lot going for it, even going as far as threatening Chrome’s dominance on Windows. But the way Microsoft is forcing it on users seems to be turning more people away. That said, the most vocal complaints may be coming from those who prefer to use a different browser anyway but Microsoft’s own admission that you can’t uninstall Microsoft Edge is really bordering on absurd.
You can still uninstall Nu Edge, of course, but only if you’re prepared to find your way through the Command Prompt. Given how much trouble Microsoft got into in Europe for bundling IE with Windows, it’s rather surprising it would make such a similar move yet again.