Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday retired its Internet Explorer, ending a quarter-century-old app, while sparking a minor panic among businesses and government agencies that built internal systems around the unpopular browser.
Japan may be the country most affected by the move, as a survey in March found that 49% of companies in Asian countries still use IE. Among them, the most common use was for in-house management, data exchange and accounting systems. All of them should have been updated or changed to different software since Microsoft announced its IE retirement plans a year ago, but Nikkei reports that many have been delayed.
Businesses across the country now have to move quickly to ensure they are still able to run tasks that previously relied on apps built atop Microsoft’s long-standing browser.
“The Japanese love security. The bigger the organization or the government, the more they hesitate to step up,” said Tetsutaro Uehara, a professor at Ritsumeikan University. “The biggest issue is that, when it comes to government websites, there are only a limited number of We have vendors who can implement such a large system.”
Internet Explorer, once the world’s leading browser and the de facto setter of web standards, did not favor its IE6 version, which was plagued by feature bloat and disappointing performance. According to StatCounter, faster and better browsers like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox took IE’s share of the worldwide market at a negligible 0.64% last month.
Microsoft’s successor to IE, called Edge, is a browser built on the same basic platform as Chrome, called Chromium, and thus is compatible with Chrome extensions and supports similar functionality. Microsoft has integrated an IE mode inside Edge, which it will support for an additional period of time after today.