Out With The Old In With The New—Welcome To Edge

Although we all knew the day was coming, alas, it has arrived.  We will be saying goodbye to Internet Explorer—you will be missed.  Given that many would say to the contrary—feeling that we hardly knew the platform, this is not necessarily true.  Those who used IE on a day to day basis knew the platform for a relatively long time.

Having been released over two decades ago, now Microsoft has what is being seen as ironic plans to break IE’s very functionality intentionally—and in the process, push its current users over to the new Edge instead.

Now, you are probably setting there, scratching your head and asking why would this be seen as ironic?  The irony lies in the very fact that in its earlier day, IE’s initial appeal was based on its ability to offer a better choice for compatibility with the internet at large.

When IE was introduced, it hit the ground running.  In the late 1990s, it had quickly taken the title of the dominant browser from Netscape Navigator.  It touted to have held the browser market to the tune of approximately 90 percent at its highest peak.

In the early days, those versions of IE did little to pay attention to the time’s web standards.  Adding that it dominated market share and was conveniently bundled with Windows, many developers in those days made a move to construct both their services and sites around the IE platform.

Now, when any change is not setting too well with consumers, Microsoft has decided to make a slow push towards ending their IE support and put the platform out to pasture—as it were.  As they say—out with the old, in with the new—and in this case Microsoft is all about the Edge browser.

Edge is reportedly based on Chromium, which happens to be the same engine that Chrome uses, from Microsoft’s leading competitor Google.  With the release of Edge 84 this past summer, Microsoft has been actively testing its forcing of migrations for some of it is IE users.  To that extent, intel indicates that they will flip the switch totally on all IE users through the release of Edge 87 sometime next month.

This switch is being made possible by using a new DLL (dynamic link library) file that Microsoft has injected into the Edge programming—which is basically a plugin.  When you surf to a site, IE will reference this file and compare the site against a list of 1,156 websites. 

If the user visits one of the sites included on a list within IE—such as Asana—they will, unfortunately, receive an error message.  This message will state: “This website doesn’t work with Internet Explorer!  Microsoft recommends continuing your browser session in Microsoft Edge to avoid any further interruptions.”  When the user then chooses to click on the “continue browsing” button provided on the error popup, it will open the Edge application.

Although admins do currently have the ability to set up group policies to prevent IE from forcing their users to edge, there is still the fact that IE will soon be DOA.  As such, Microsoft officially announced that any support for IE 11 would end on August 17, 2021.