Internet Explorer - the once king of the browser world


The turning point marked the growth of Internet Explorer was in 1999 when IE 5.0 launched with Windows 98 SE and took 80% of the web browsing market share.

In the 1990s, Microsoft was the technology corporation that manipulated the entire world. The company led by Bill Gates defeated all competitors, establishing an empire to distribute software to nearly every PC. This decade also saw a surge in demand for Internet access, even though only 1% of the world's population was connected to the Internet at that time.

It all started in 1995, when Microsoft was simultaneously researching a Chicago codename project with a codename project O’Hare. The company's original intention was to combine the two technologies into a single product. But in the end the company decided to develop into two software. Chicago is Windows 95, one of Microsoft's most successful operating systems. O’Hare is the codename of the company's first browser: Internet Explorer 1.0.

Windows 95, released in August 1995, was one of the first operating systems to connect to the Internet thanks to the IE 1.0 tool. Even though it was made to run on Windows 95, IE 1.0 still can't bypass Netscape's Navigator.

Unlike other browsers on the market, Internet Explorer is not built according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) design standard. This causes Microsoft's browser to display some websites differently from other browsers. Developers in those years had to customize their websites to work well on different browser platforms.


Windows95 operating system interface.

The turning point that marked Microsoft's expansion was the version of Internet Explorer 4.0 that was built into Windows. Instead of using the Netscape browser and costing $ 49, Windows users since 1997 have been able to access the Internet thanks to IE for free.

IE 5.0 officially launched with Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) in September 1999. With IE 5.0, Microsoft introduced XMLHttpRequest (XHR) and HTML Application (HTA). Throughout IE3 to IE5, Microsoft used all its resources to innovate and outgrown its rival Netscape. Internet Explorer versions of this era had more features, were updated more frequently, and outperformed the Netscape product. That year, IE 5 took up 80% of the web browser market share, largely thanks to the integration of IE into Windows.

This prompted the US Department of Justice to open an antitrust investigation against Microsoft. The judge even ordered the company to be split up, and argued that providing IE for free was unfair competition.

Although the company was not divided, Microsoft had to comply with a number of strict regulations, in which it had to open source Windows to other software developers through the Application Programming Interface (API). . A court order makes Microsoft lose control of the PC ecosystem.

Internet Explorer 6, released with Windows XP in 2003, helped IE take up nearly 90% of the web browsing market share. However, IE6 is also Microsoft's most infamous browser.

In 2004, the US Computer Emergency Response Team US-CERT published a security report on IE vulnerabilities and advised users not to use IE 6.0. The problem that caused Microsoft headaches with this version is that it refused to "die". Many large organizations in the world have invested a lot of money in building IE6 compatible software so they refuse to upgrade to newer version of IE. As a result, in 2014, Microsoft ended support for IE6 after 10 years.

During the next five years, the software giant did not bring any notable improvements to the browser. Firefox appeared this time and is considered the new standard of computer browser.

Internet Explorer 8, launched in 2009, marked Microsoft's first use of the W3C web design standard. By the time Internet Explorer seemed to catch up with the trend, its competitors were already having a lot of influence on the market. The launch of Chrome in 2008 by Google rocked the browser market. In the next 5 years, Google dominated the market, while Internet Explore accounted for less than 30% market share. Today, its market share is 1%.

Although Internet Explorer today is ridiculed by the tech world, and even considered a "browser to load other browsers", it cannot be denied its role in the early days of the web. Internet Explorer 3 is tied with CSS - the complementary language for HTML, allowing web designers to separate web content (HTML) from interfaces (CSS).

Internet Explorer comes with lots of advanced features, like Java Applets or ActiveX controls. In the 4th version, Microsoft released a render engine called Trident, which helps developers to insert the web browsing interface into the application. Microsoft also invented Ajax, which allows to change part, rather than the entire web page, by retrieving and retrieving new information from the server. Nearly 100% of websites and network data services use Ajax, including Gmail, Facebook and YouTube.


Internet Explorer is about to disappear after 25 years. Photo: Wired.

In 2014, Microsoft confirmed its intention to de-brand Internet Explorer and move gradually to the new browser Spartan. On July 29, 2015, the new Microsoft Edge browser was released with Windows 10. However, even as Windows 10's market share continues to grow, traffic from Microsoft Edge remains low.

Despite its efforts to improve the quality of Edge, it still does not attract the number of users as Microsoft wants. In the end, the company decided to drop EdgeHTML to develop another browser based on Google's open source Chromium.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its Chromium-based Edge browser with a host of new features, including Chrome extensions, themes, and vertical tabs, which were previously missing. The software company also confirmed it will no longer support Internet Explorer and Edge generations old.

After 25 years, it's time for Internet Explorer to retire.



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