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The end is near for IE

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, April 16th, 2015 - 25 comments
Categories: admin, boycott, internet, notices, The Standard - Tags:

I was having a look at the browser statistics for the site, and thinking that Internet Explorer was dying really fast. You can see what I mean by looking at the stats from the past about what was used on the site. This is the browsers back in July – September 2010 by session.

1. Firefox 36.58%
2. Internet Explorer 34.01%
3. Safari 15.98%
4. Chrome 10.41%
5. Opera 1.96%
6. Opera Mini 0.29%
7. Mozilla 0.25%
8. Mozilla Compatible Agent 0.15%
9. BlackBerry9700 0.08%
10. safari 0.05%

And here is the last 30 days.

browsers 30 days 16th April 2015

A teeny difference. Speaking as someone who has had to develop web pages for many years for various purposes, all I can say is “good riddance”. Since 2005 I have mainly had to develop in firefox as the standard which did almost all other browsers as well. Then I’d develop the Internet Explorer variants. Which would generally take double the time. 

But you can see why Microsoft is going to use a new browser engine and framing. From wikipedia..

The last release is Internet Explorer 11, with an interface allowing for use as both a desktop application, and as a Windows 8 application.

Starting January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer on each operating system will be supported, depending on operating system it will be IE 11 or could be down to IE 9 for older desktop/server Windows versions[11]or down to IE 7 for older embedded Windows versions.[12]

On March 17, 2015, Microsoft announced that Spartan will replace Internet Explorer as the default browser on its Windows 10 devices. Internet Explorer will, however, remain on some versions of Windows 10 primarily for enterprise purposes.[13]

Spartan (or whatever its marketing name will be) follows the requirements for modern web browsers.

“Spartan” uses a new “Edge” layout engine forked from Trident[9] that is “designed for interoperability with the modern web”. The new “Edge” engine will be used by default across Windows 10, and pages can be rendered in the legacy MSHTML engine for backwards compatibility with enterprise-specific websites and software.[1][10]

“Spartan” does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and will instead use an extension system.[1][10][11]

And performance wise…

Early benchmarks of the EdgeHTML engine used by “Spartan” demonstrated drastically improved JavaScript performance in comparison to Trident 7 in Internet Explorer 11, and that Microsoft’s new browser has similar performance to Google Chrome 41 and Mozilla Firefox 37. In the Sunspider benchmark, Spartan is significantly faster than other browsers,[12] while in all other benchmarks it is slower than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, in some cases significantly.[13]

Anyway, the reason that I was looking was to see what I needed to test. I’ve decided that I’m going to stop testing *any* Internet Explorer variants for any future fixes or development on this site. I can’t justify spending  my valuable development and testing time on such a crap and time wasting browser. This doesn’t mean that the site will stop working on it. It just means that it is unlikely to keep working well.

I’ll add a warning message for the remaining victims suggesting that they download and install a useful browser. 

25 comments on “The end is near for IE ”

  1. Hateatea 1

    I haven’t used IE for about 8 years and prefer Firefox but some things that I do work better with Chrome. Without your technical knowhow I couldn’t say what makes the difference between Chrome and Firefox but , in my opinion, IE has been crap for a long time. May it soon Rest in Peace.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    It’s good that MS are finally starting to use accepted standards rather than trying to force people to use their rather pathetic and overly complex standards.

    • tc 2.1

      Yup and there’s an the old joke that sums up MS attitude.

      How many microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb ?

      None, define darkness as a new standard.

    • infused 2.2

      They’ve been doing it for years. Just playing catch up.

  3. Ron 3

    It’s not just browser that Microsoft is changing they are also developing their office suites for Android/Linux. Expect to see MSPUB on Android/Linux. One of their spokesman stated recently that MS would not be trash talking Linux any more. Would not surprise me at all to see Windows eventually running on top of Linux. They have been moving closer to Linux with each iteration of Windows but would make more sense to use Linux as a base and rewrite windows to run on top. It would improve the performance and security immensely

    • tc 3.1

      It’s what apple did with OSX years ago and placed their UI skin over it.

      The world has moved on past their unfriendly, badly executed and costly attempts to be the next big thing…remember windows vista.

      If they’re smart they’ll bin windows and adopt linux with a UI over it, wars over in the OS battle and they lost sometime ago it’s just taking awhile to work its way through.

      • Capn Insano 3.1.1

        Vista?! /runs from the room screaming.

        I haven’t used Internet Exploiter personally since Netscape was around. The times I did was when the IT Nazis at my first job decreed it. Then it was Firefox and now mostly Chrome at work [still FF at home out of habit], Chrome works well with our web job management etc software, might be another side that complains that we should use IE but I ignore it.

    • infused 3.2

      lol. no.

      Nothing wrong with the security of Windows. The base has been re-written on top of NT a number of times.

      Microsoft have also used Linux for years now.

      • Ron 3.2.1

        Actually I think you can still find LanMan deeply buried in current versions of Windows

  4. infused 4

    IE11 is fine. Better than firefox’s bloated pos that it is today. The rest, not so much.

  5. jeremy 5

    well. there goes my access to this site from my workplace.
    I might be forced to do some actual work.

    • lprent 5.1

      It will keep on working just as it does now.

      The problem will be when I do a fix for something and it breaks something in older versions of IE.

      At present I check and test in firefox, chrome, and usually 3 variants of IE. The reason why is there are major differences between IE versions especially in CSS and javascript compared to other browsers and between themselves.

      The current percentages are…

      IE11 71.79%
      IE9 13.70%
      IE10 7.30%
      IE8 6.48%
      IE7 0.73%
      IE6 0.01%

      The problem is that each of these versions tends to have quirks that are not removed by upgrades. That isn’t that much of an issue now that IE6 is dead at last. But it is enough that you can’t be sure that everything will work on each variant. It was a real problem when IE was 30% of the browsers used here because it was always something like a third each for 3 variants.

      Compare that to Chrome where >95% are 41.0.2272.x and virtually all of the rest are less than 4 months old.

      Or Safari where 98% are variants of versions 6,7, or 8 released in 2015 and are essentially identical at the programming level for CSS, javascript and HTML. I don’t even test them because they share the webkit engine with chrome and act almost identically.

      Or Firefox where 92% were released within the last 7 months >version 30. And 6.54% are 3.6.8 from 2010 (which I think is the final Camino 2.x releases on the Mac).

      Basically I can test current Chrome and current Firefox and get greater than a 80% of browser coverage. If I add IE11, then it is well less than 90%. Not worth the effort.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    “that they download and install a useful browser. ”

    I believe the accepted terminology is “modern browser”.

  7. Neil 7

    I’m running Windows 10 Technical Preview on my laptop & having been testing out Spartan browser & have found it to be faster than any other browser I have used in the past. Although Spartan is not finished, it is showing great promise with lots of cool features, that will be included is the finished product. Although Windows 10 is still in development I’m finding it will be a great operating system once it goes RTM.
    Everybody who has Windows 7 or 8.1 will be entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 10, if they switch to Windows 10 within the first year after it goes RTM.

    • felix 7.1

      Are you using Windows 10 on a touchscreen laptop?

    • lprent 7.2

      Unlike the Linux or Android that I use where the upgrades are just free?

      Or the Safari and iOS that my partner Lyn uses, which are now just free?

      If work wants to pay for an windows downgrade then they can. But personally I’d prefer to just stay on windows 7 until I get forced into a new laptop. Besides I do most of my actual work in a kubuntu VM anyway.

      I have windows for outlook and lynx.

      • Capn Insano 7.2.1

        Hell we have a few XP boxes here still, laptop is Win 7 [32bit unfortunately] but at home I use a Win7 64bit PC and a Macbook. I pulled down ubuntu onto another PC at one stage because I was sick of M$s activation bollocks.
        And I’m sticking with 7 for now because I don’t get the changes made with Win 8, I get annoyed when I do something on a mate’s laptop and accidentally swipe onto that stupid tiles shit away from the desktop [no touchscreen].

    • David H 7.3

      I’m running win 10 as well but with opera. Works great. The other machines are all running various versions of win 7, and all with Opera. And the new upgrades are great on the Tablet and phone both Android and both running Opera mini, way better speed. I gave up on Internet Exploder years ago

    • Jones 7.4

      Spartan… lol… I dig the codename… is the project lead Master Chief? 🙂 But I’m looking forward to checking it out. I use Chrome at the moment but I read somewhere that it was the most insecure browser around…?

  8. good riddance to Internet Exploder, a wise decision

  9. ropata 9

    Hello from IE11. Haven’t used IE for yonks… no pop-up insults seen yet. 🙂

  10. philj 10

    Thanks iprent for your work in keeping this site going. Sterling effort to keep the b####s honest.

  11. MrV 11

    Yeah IE is bad, but at least it’s not sending everything back to Google.HQ to work out how to milk you for advertising dollars.

    Chrome users = sheeple.

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