Internet Explorer

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Windows Internet Explorer (known before as Microsoft Internet Explorer) is a Internet browser by Microsoft. It has been part of the Microsoft Windows operating system since Windows 95 and could be installed on older Windows versions. Versions for non-Windows operating systems like macOS and Solaris were available, but have been discontinued.


Internet Explorer was launched in 1996 for Windows 95, with a pack. Internet Explorer 2 was launched soon after. Internet Explorer 4 was launched in 1998 and bundled with Windows 98 In it's early days, Internet Explorer played an important role in creating and establishing web standards. Especially, with the help of IE3 and IE4, Microsoft threw out Netscape and became the dominating force in the web browser race. Consequently, IE6 did add many new features, but did not improve on the web standards. As IE6 was included with Windows XP, and was available for a wide ranges of Windows OS's, that browser quickly became the popular browser (90%). This soon did become a problem. In 2002, Firefox was introduced, and Safari came soon after. Firefox quickly started to eat up Internet Explorer's share. In 2006, Internet Explorer 7 was launched, which changed the look of the browser and introduced new features like tabbed browsing (which was already introduced in Firefox). This version was included in Windows Vista and was available for Windows XP SP2. In 2008, the popular Google Chrome browser was introduced, which also quickly ate up a lot of Internet Explorer's share. Soon after, in 2009, Internet Explorer 8 was launched, which improved upon IE7's features and added features like Accelerators. In 2011, Internet Explorer 9 was launched, which was the first browser since Internet Explorer 2 not to be bundled with any OS. This version dramatically improved web support, added features(like website pinning) and changed the look to a more cleaner feel. This version dropped support for Windows XP. In 2012, Internet Explorer 10 was launched and included with Windows 8. This version dropped support for Windows Vista, also dramatically increasing/enhancing HTML5 features, and improvements on speed and battery life. A year later, Internet Explorer 11 was launched for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Internet Explorer Developer Channel is a pre-release beta of Internet Explorer that installs side-by side with IE11 on Windows 7 and 8.1. The current version of IEDC is Developer Channel 1, which introduces features such as the GamePad API. This version relies on App-V, and takes a minor performance hit by doing so. Note that it is currently expired (atleast on Windows 8.1) and would no longer work.

In Windows 10, IE was replaced with Microsoft Edge, although the original IE11 is still kept for compatibility reasons.


Internet Explorer often has been criticized, for example because of the poor compliance to open web standards, support for proprietary extensions like in-page ActiveX controls and security issues. Especially Internet Explorer 6 has been an annoyance for web designers due to it's bad behavior on standard-compliant code and it's widespread usage due to it being included in Windows XP. Microsoft has attempted to rectify the major problems with releases since Internet Explorer 7 and 8. The current version for Windows XP is Internet Explorer 8. Internet Explorer 9 features support for some HTML5 and CSS3 elements, and is the last version to be supported on Windows Vista. Many had hoped Internet Explorer 9 would work on Windows XP, but it did not. Internet Explorer 10 is the default version with Windows 8 and was also released for Windows 7. The latest version is Internet Explorer 11, included with Windows 8.1 and also available for Windows 7.

Unlike most other browsers, the latest version of Internet Explorer works with only Windows 7 and higher.


See also