Internet Explorer Finally Heading for Exit

John Lister's picture

Internet Explorer 11 users will start losing access to Microsoft 365 this week. It's the latest step towards the browser being phased out altogether.

Microsoft 365 is the subscription version of Microsoft Office. Rather than buy a one-off edition, users pay an annual fee and will always have access to the latest versions of tools such as Word and Excel. That's because Microsoft 365 works online rather than the bulk of the software being installed and running on the user's hard drive.

Internet Explorer 11 was released in 2013 and became the default browser for Windows 8.1 and earlier. It was bundled with Windows 10 but replaced as the default by Microsoft Edge. Microsoft plans to drop support for it on most systems next summer.

The latest estimates from Statcounter suggest just over half a percent of computing devices worldwide still run Internet Explorer. The figure for the US is just under one percent. (Source:

Apps Will Drop Off

As of this week, Microsoft 365 stops supporting Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft warns that "customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11." (Source:

Exactly when the services stops working will vary between the different applications but in all cases Microsoft stresses that "support will be unavailable. Additionally, you should expect no new features and that your daily usage experience could get progressively worse over time until the apps and services are disconnected."

Microsoft Pushes Edge

Naturally Microsoft encourages users to switch to its own Edge browser to get the best experience with Microsoft 365. However, it will work on PCs with "the new Microsoft Edge", Microsoft Edge Legacy, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

The "new" Edge runs on the same open source (Chromium) as Google's Chrome. Edge Legacy is the original version and runs on Microsoft's own code; there's no compelling reason for most people to run it.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you know anyone still using Internet Explorer? Will the loss of Microsoft 365 access make a difference? Should Microsoft be more ruthless about dropping support for old systems?

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.9 (10 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Back when Windows 95 was released, Internet Explorer was a great browser. Times have changed and unfortunately, the malware just keeps on coming. It's dangerous to use Internet Explorer even now because hackers target it specifically.

I use to be a huge fan of Firefox, but it suffers too often from memory leaks. I finally switched to Chrome last year. I still prefer the fonts on Firefox much more than Chrome, and there's no way to get rid of the smooth scrolling on Chrome which is painful at times. Those are the two biggest issues for me. Other than that, it's a solid browser and has 65% of the browser market share.

OadbyPC's picture

Why would MS team up with Google to make "new Edge"???

Wouldn't it be wonderful if MS used and pushed Firefox instead? I'm sure they'd get a heap more good will and publicity? And FF would probably improve as well?

Would love to hear your opinion on how to ask MS to do this?

Dennis Faas's picture

Chrome has the biggest market share (65%) and has lots of developers making plugins for the browser. Microsoft tried making the original Edge only to have next to zero support for plugins, which meant that many people jumped ship right from the get-go.

Eventually Microsoft ditched the original Edge and switched to the open source Chromium project (which is essentially Chrome as we know it), then re-branded it as theirs. The new Chromium Edge also has 100% compatibility with existing Chrome plugins, which is a huge bonus for anyone that likes Chrome but wants to use Edge instead, or use it as a second option. Because Chromium Edge is open source / developed mostly by Google, it also means that Microsoft is no longer responsible for patching security exploits.

As for your Firefox question: Google pays Firefox to have their search engine pre-loaded as default, but so does Yahoo. Yahoo search is part of Microsoft Bing's advertising, so it's all tied in together, regardless.

glen's picture

I prefer the method that IE stores your Favorites and haven't yet gotten comfortable with Chrome's method:(

kitekrazy's picture

I still like browsers with menus. Chrome no longer has them but Firefox does.

Draq's picture

The only thing I use IE for now is reading RSS feeds. I really hope some sort of feed reader is going to be implemented in Edge, as I don't want to go hunting for another app to handle that.

buzzallnight's picture

Having the screen zoom on the status bar is very convenient
instead of the crappy fly out menus of chrome based browsers.
But if you have to use chrome Brave is the best.
You really need at least 3 browsers loaded at all times
as they are SOOOOOO flaky!!!!!!!!!
Chrome, Brave, Mo and IE 11

Do you know anyone still using Internet Explorer? YES
Will the loss of Microsoft 365 access make a difference? No, what is Microsoft 365?
Should Microsoft be more ruthless about dropping support for old systems?
Who cares,
they can't fix anything anyway,
Win 7 is great now that M$ stopped effing with it!!!!!!!!!!!!