It's the end of a long, extremely laggy era – after 26 years, a malware impersonation, and countless memes dunking on its infamous slowness, Microsoft's universally despised browser, Internet Explorer, will soon exist only in our memories of wanting to chuck our glacially-moving computers out the window.

As of June 15, 2022, Microsoft will officially retire the loathed browser, according to a statement posted to their website, a move seemingly predicted by the software company's gradual move away from its notorious web-surfing option. With their slack alternative, Teams, no longer working with Internet Explorer as of last fall and the Office 365 apps set to follow suit in the next few months, in what is obviously the tech giant's attempt at preparing for Hot Girl Summer (TM), IE's downfall was seemingly written on the wall for some time now, yet its association with misery and frustration wasn't always an innate part of its user experience.

Debuting in the mid-90s as a part of Windows 95, Internet Explorer enjoyed a few years of immense popularity before growing synonymous with the feeling of burning rage, pushing predecessor Netscape Navigator into oblivion and earning a glowing endorsement via cheesy tutorial from Friends stars, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry, before hitting its peak in 2002, when it singlehandedly dominated 95% of the browser market, CNN reported. 

Yet in true Microsoft fashion, setting the stage for similar failures in Zune and the ultimate demise of Windows Mobile, the company remained stagnant, “essentially leaving Internet Explorer 6 alone to gather dust and cobwebs for five years,” CNN's Managing Business Editor, David Goldman wrote of the browser's downfall. Although the company released the seventh version of Internet explorer in 2006, other browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and the company's other offering, Edge quickly surpassed it. Chrome is currently the most popular browser today, boasting roughly 69% of the market share (nice). 

Despite Internet Explorer's spectacular failure, Microsoft is still in the browser game, continuing on with Edge. "We are announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge," Sean Lyndersay, a program manager for Edge explained in a note posted to their site. "Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications." 

So internet explorer, thank you for functioning properly for all of seven years before providing endless fodder for collective roasting. You will be missed … by all of roughly 10 people. Goodnight, sweet prince. 

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

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