As of this writing, Google Search no longer officially supports Internet Explorer 11, marking the beginning of the end of Microsoft’s now-old browser.
Internet Explorer 11 was first released in 2013 as part of Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 version, before being ported to the ever popular Windows 7. Although we didn’t know it at the time, Internet Explorer 11 would be the final version of Microsoft’s web browser, eventually replaced by Microsoft Edge with the launch of Windows 10 in 2015.
Until Microsoft made the bold decision to rebuild the Edge browser on Google’s Chromium engine, Edge was not available to users of devices with older versions of Windows. This left Internet Explorer 11 as the default browser on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, unless you decide to install a third-party browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Because of this, Internet Explorer has consistently managed to maintain a relatively high usage rate, with StatCounter reporting that the browser had more than 1% of the desktop browser market share in September 2021, compared to Google Chrome’s 67%. Although this may seem small, consider the large number of desktop devices that access the Internet; 1% of this total is still a significant amount. And that doesn’t even take into account the many corporate users who are forced to use Internet Explorer for some legacy applications.
Keeping web apps compatible with Internet Explorer 11, as you might expect, requires extra work from the developer, as Google has so far chosen to maintain support for the legacy browser. That is changing today, according to a tweet from Malta Ubl, a software engineer at Google, sharing that the company’s flagship product, Google Search, no longer officially supports Internet Explorer 11.
According to the tweet, the Google research team “did the math,” which likely means they calculated the cost of maintaining proper support for Internet Explorer 11 versus the value of retaining those customers. Based on its latest decision, Google has apparently decided that “it’s time” to ditch Internet Explorer 11, at least with Google Search.
It’s important to note that Google didn’t just stop Internet Explorer 11 from using Google Search, leaving people unable to search the web. Instead, Internet Explorer customers now have a rudimentary “fallback experience” for Google search, which can perform basic searches but is not as comprehensive as Google on modern browsers. To put it plainly, results pages aren’t appealing, but at least actionable for those who just can’t use Chrome, Edge, or Firefox.
If you see this new Google Fallback Experience on your own computer, now is the time to upgrade your web browser. The Google home page will display a recommendation to install Chrome, but you might prefer to use Microsoft’s revamped Edge browser, which is available on Windows 7 and 8 and even includes an “Internet Explorer mode” for compatibility. with legacy applications.
With Google Search being one of the most critical applications on the web today, it may only be a matter of time before more businesses and developers follow suit, leaving Internet Explorer 11 unable to do so. access the Internet at large. This isn’t even the first recent example of Google moving away from the legacy browser, with the entire Workspace suite – including Gmail and Google Docs – no longer working on Internet Explorer.
We reached out to Google for details on the change, but they didn’t respond until after the post.
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