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Here's why Microsoft warns users to stop using Internet Explorer as the default browser

Using the browser with that iconic ‘e’ means to deliberately take on technical debt, the tech giant explained in its blog post titled, ‘The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser’.

Sutrishna Ghosh
18th Feb 2019
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Internet Explorer, the once popular web browser among netizens, is dying a slow and gradual death. The irony is that even Microsoft couldn’t salvage it from the wreck.


The reason is simple. The browser represented by the iconic ‘e’ symbol has lived past its expiry. It has not been updated to support new web standards, and continuing to use it could have security implications. Interestingly , the warning comes from Microsoft itself. In a blog post, titled The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser, the tech giant details why users should switch from IE to other modern browsers (like Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft’s very own Edge).


Microsoft Internet Explorer

Source: Flickr



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Microsoft cybersecurity lead Chris Jackson, who penned the post, doesn’t namedrop any modern browser. But Microsoft’s push towards Edge has been anything but subtle in the recent past.


Explaining the perils of using Explorer, the blog post mentioned something called the “technical debt”. While it’s easier for organisations to select IE by default (after all most sites were designed for Internet Explorer), but in the process they would be making “a deliberate decision to take on some technical debt.”


“In the past, Internet Explorer was optimised for simplicity at the expense of technical debt,” Jackson wrote, explaining that by choosing the easier option over newer, better browsers organisations are incurring extra costs. In addition, IE has not been updated to support new web standards.    


“Fast forward, as Internet Explorer standards mode supported more and more standards, we decided not to just update the mode we called standards mode because, when we did, we risked breaking applications written for an older interpretation of the standards,” the post read.


Microsoft calls Internet Explorer “a compatibility solution”, rather than a web browser. “As new apps are coming out with greater frequency, what we want to help you do is avoid having to miss out on a progressively larger portion of the web!” the company added.


While Microsoft doesn’t openly propagate Edge, it’s pretty evident that the tech giant wants to leave Explorer where it should be, in the past.   

 

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