Internet Explorer's Swansong? Microsoft Ramps up Phasing Out of IE for Chromium-Based Edge
Microsoft is ramping up efforts to fully kill its antiquated Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) browser in order to push its latest Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser among more users. Starting next month, the software giant will automatically redirect at least 1,156 websites, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams and many others from Internet Explorer to the Chromium-based Edge browser, as part of the company's IE deprecation plans. Microsoft had previously announced that IE11 will longer be supported on services like OneDrive, Outlook and more by August 17, 2021. However, the end of support doesn't mean that Internet Explorer is going away completely. The browser will still run limited legacy apps for customers who use it for specific, business-critical investments.
Currently, Internet Explorer 11 is still available to use on several Windows PCs, but the browser barely gets any new features via Windows 10 software updates. According to Microsoft, the redirection of websites from Explorer 11 to Microsoft Edge works through Internet Explorer Browser Helper Object (BHO) named 'IEtoEdge BHO'. If a website (say Twitter or Facebook) on IE11 is found to be incompatible with the browser, the BHO coding will automatically redirect users to the Chromium-based Edge and a text will appear stating browser incompatibility. Users will further notice the text where the company recommends them using Edge to avoid interruptions in browsing. When a site is redirected from Internet Explorer 11 to Microsoft Edge, the Explorer tab that started loading the content will close "if it had no prior content." With the automatic redirections, users would also be recommended to import passwords, history, cookies, and so on from IE11 to Edge.
Currently, the automatic redirection from IE11 to Edge is already live for some users starting with users of Edge browser v84 rolled out in June this year. However, with the release of Edge v87 scheduled for next month, the company plans to enable the forced IE-to-Edge action for all IE11 users."The need to manually switch to a different browser changes starting with Microsoft Edge Stable version 87," the company added. Microsoft had earlier stated that the Microsoft Teams web app will stop supporting IE11 as early as November 30, and several features are already being disabled with the old browser. Additionally, the EdgeHTML based browser, Microsoft Legacy Edge will reach its end of life in March 2021.