Friday, 17 June 2022 10:40

Bye, bye Explorer: one of Microsoft's few free products Featured

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 After 27 years, Microsoft has finally killed its once dominant web browser, Explorer, an announcement that is not likely to cause much concern among the majority of internet users, who have long since abandoned the product.

In 1995, shortly after the release of its landmark GUI operating system Windows 95, Microsoft released one of its few free products Internet Explorer in a move that basically killed off its burgeoning online rival Netscape and its Navigator product.

Microsoft founder and boss Bill Gates was known to be deeply concerned about the company's lack of an internet strategy and frightened by the rise of Netscape.

So in a call to arms, Gates issued an internal memo to staff saying that Microsoft had to "spin on a dime" and meet the challenge posed by the internet.

A couple of months later the free Internet Explorer browser was born and incorporated into all subsequent releases of Windows.

Not too much longer, with its nascent business model completely obliterated by Microsoft's new free product, Netscape was no more.

With the announcement of Explorer's demise, Microsoft will no longer offer fixes or updates to the existing version and users will be directed to its replacement, Microsoft Edge.

"Internet Explorer (IE) is officially retired and out of support as of today," Microsoft wrote in a blog post this week.

"The web has evolved and so have browsers. Incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn't match the general improvements to the web at large, so we started fresh."

Underlining the fact that not many will care about the demise of Explorer or for that matter the fate of its replacement Edge, Microsoft's share of the browser market is relatively miniscule these days, being in the single digits.

By comparison market leader Google Chrome has nearly 65% of the browser space.

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Stan Beer

Stan Beer has been involved with the IT industry for 39 years and has worked as a senior journalist and editor at most of the major media publications, including The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Age, SMH, BRW, and a number of IT trade journals. He co-founded iTWire in 2004, where he was editor in chief until 2016. Today, Stan consults with iTWire News Site /Website administration, advertising scheduling, news editorial posts. In 2016 Stan was presented with a Kester Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Australian IT journalism.

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