Why Microsoft finally dumped Internet Explorer after more than 25 years

Tech giant Microsoft recently announced the retirement of its longstanding web browser, Internet Explorer, in favor of its newer product, Microsoft Edge. With support for Internet Explorer only set to last until June 15, 2022, its remaining users have just over a year to find an alternative. But of course, most web users already have.

While the eventual downfall of Internet Explorer was seen as a foregone conclusion by those who monitor web trends, the news might come as an unwelcome surprise for those who are somewhat less up-to-date.

For the most part, though, this news is a whimper rather than a bang — a footnote at the end of an iconic story spanning more than 25 years.

As a current professional in the IT industry, I’ll break down some possible reasons for this decision, and what we can learn from it.

Searching for the answer

Almost everyone is familiar with the idea of “googling” something, but there’s no such thing as “microsofting” something. How did Google manage to become synonymous with web searching, while Microsoft, despite its long and pioneering history, failed to become synonymous with anything?

The answer is market share. Google handles 92.24% of web searches — more than 3.5 billion requests a day. Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing, has a paltry 2.29%.