Internet Explorer/The future
For a number of reasons, usage and support for Internet Explorer has declined. If you are currently using Internet Explorer, you may receive a number of benefits from changing to a new browser.
Microsoft Edge[edit | edit source]
Microsoft Edge is a browser that is the successor of Internet Explorer, offering a number of improvements and major differences, while maintaining some of the best features and functions of Internet Explorer. Edge is completely free of monetary cost to use, and even includes some features that could help save money.
Usability Improvements[edit | edit source]
- It features a much streamlined interface compared to Internet Explorer.
- You can install it on an Android or iOS device and sync your browsing between your computer, and phone or tablet.
- A shopping assistant helps you find better deals and coupons while online shopping, saving the user money.
Technical Improvements[edit | edit source]
- Updates are released very frequently, adding new features, performance improvements, and more.
- It has better use for touch; you can draw on the webpage. It also features better integration with OneNote.
Major differences[edit | edit source]
- It is available only on Windows 10 and later.
- It uses a different rendering engine; some websites working on Internet Explorer can break on Edge. This is done to alleviate the problems on Internet Explorer's Trident Engine, as many websites detect Internet Explorer and apply ugly 'fixes' meant for older versions of Internet Explorer (mostly before version 7).
- Addons are incompatible with those on IE11. However, a similar feature called Extensions is available and extensions (with most popular ones already available) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.
Other Major Browsers[edit | edit source]
A number of other major browsers exist besides Internet Explorer and Edge.
Google Chrome[edit | edit source]
One of the most popular web browsers, Google Chrome has great support for most websites and devices. Chrome is designed to be easy to use, and there are many people who can help you learn how to use it.
Chrome features a number of handy built in features, such as casting which lets users beam their web browser to certain smart televisions, a great trick for sharing videos, photos, and other internet content on a bigger screen.
Mozilla Firefox[edit | edit source]
A popular open source web browser, Mozilla Firefox often appeals to a more privacy focused audience, while maintaining great support for most websites.
Firefox has built in support for a number of handy features, such as Pocket which shows a number of trending stories online, while allowing you to keep track of sites to revisit while avoiding cutting up your bookmarks.
Keeping Internet Explorer[edit | edit source]
Why you probably shouldn't keep using Internet Explorer[edit | edit source]
Warning! It is a bad idea to continue using Internet Explorer as a typical web browser.
Keeping Internet Explorer for day to day browsing will dramatically reduce the ability of most websites to function correctly, while also reducing your cybersecurity. The following sections are meant only for those stuck with legacy applications which support nothing else. Even then it is advisable to use Internet Explorer only for those applications, and to use a more up to date and secure browser for the general World Wide Web. It is also advisable to spend this time getting an alternative for whatever Internet Explorer is needed for.
Consider IE Mode[edit | edit source]
Microsoft Edge has a function called IE Mode, allowing it to function much as Internet Explorer did while retaining many of the benefits of Edge. Consider using this before using real Internet Explorer.
How to keep Internet Explorer operating[edit | edit source]
There are a few legitimate reasons to continue using Internet Explorer:
- Historic preservation of older web content, and other historical analysis of computing.
- Enterprise or Industrial systems that require it and can't be updated because the original developer has gone out of business or because a replacement is too costly. (Note this approach does not circumvent technical debt.)
Internet Explorer is still relatively available for when it is absolutely essential; some versions of Windows 10 and 11 carry both browsers, with Internet Explorer handling the functions for older websites and businesses which need it. However as time has progressed onwards, support for Internet Explorer has decreased, and continued support is not a guarantee.
When judicious measures have been taken such as not restricting unfettered internet access or denying access to local confidential or essential resources, some of the issues with continuing to use Internet Explorer can be mitigated, though elimination of those issues entirely may be impossible depending on the usecase.
You should highly consider configuring your setup to only allow Internet Explorer to access specific sites that it absolutely needs, and should consider keeping it on a dedicated machine off any sensitive internal networks. It can not be overstated how continuing to use Internet Explorer can be a weak link in an organization's or individuals cyber-security.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Microsoft Edge was formerly called Project Spartan.
- It is usually possible to get most web browsers to look more like Internet Explorer if you like how it looks.