Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer Mastery 8 Power Tips for Enhanced Browsing


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Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer, abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a defunct series of graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included in the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems beginning in 1995. That year, it was released as part of the Plus! add-on package for Windows 95. Later versions were available as free downloads or in-service packs, and were included in OEM service releases of Windows 95 and later versions of Windows. In 2016, new feature development for the browser was halted in favor of the new browser Microsoft Edge.


Because Internet Explorer is a Windows component and is included in long-term lifecycle versions of Windows, such as Windows Server 2019, it will continue to receive security updates until at least 2029. Microsoft 365 will end support for Internet Explorer on August 17, 2021, and Microsoft Teams will end support for IE on November 30, 2020. Internet Explorer will be phased out on June 15, 2022, with Microsoft Edge replacing it with an IE mode for legacy sites.

Internet Explorer was once the most popular web browser, with a 95 percent usage share in 2003. This came after Microsoft used bundling to defeat Netscape, the dominant browser in the 1990s. Its market share has since declined due to the introduction of Firefox (2004) and Google Chrome (2008), as well as the growing popularity of mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS that do not support Internet Explorer.



According to StatCounter, Internet Explorer’s market share in 2022 is estimated to be 0.38 percent across all platforms. On traditional PCs, the only platform where it has ever had a significant share, it ranks sixth with 0.97 percent, trailing only Opera. Microsoft Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer, first surpassed it in terms of market share in November 2019.


In the late 1990s, Microsoft spent more than $100 million per year on Internet Explorer, with over 1,000 people working on the project by 1999.


Internet Explorer has also been released for other operating systems, including an Xbox 360 version called Internet Explorer for Xbox and for platforms Microsoft no longer supports: Internet Explorer for Mac and Internet Explorer for UNIX (Solaris and HP-UX), as well as an embedded OEM version called Pocket Internet Explorer, later rebranded Internet Explorer Mobile and made for Windows CE, Windows Phone, and, previously, based on Internet Explorer 7, for Windows Phone.



Microsoft announced on March 17, 2015, that Microsoft Edge would replace Internet Explorer as the default browser “for certain versions of Windows 10.” Internet Explorer 11 is the most recent release. However, Internet Explorer is still available on Windows 10 LTSC and Windows Server 2019, primarily for enterprise use. Since January 12, 2016, only Internet Explorer 11 has received official consumer support; extended support for Internet Explorer 10 will expire on January 31, 2020. 



Support varies according to the technical capabilities of the operating system and its support life cycle. On May 20, 2021, it was announced that full support for Internet Explorer would be discontinued on June 15, 2022, with Microsoft Edge with IE mode for legacy sites serving as a replacement. Microsoft has stated that it will continue to support Internet Explorer in this manner until at least 2030, with a one-year notice before discontinuing it. The IEmodele “uses the Trident MSHTML engine,” which is Internet Explorer’s rendering code.


The browser has been scrutinized throughout its development for its use of third-party technology (such as the source code of Spyglass Mosaic, which was used without royalty in early versions) and security and privacy flaws, and the United States and the European Union have claimed that integrating Internet Explorer with Windows has harmed fair browser competition.


History Microsoft Internet Explorer


Version 1 of Internet Explorer

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review of 2003, Thomas Reardon started the Internet Explorer project in the summer of 1994, using source code from Spyglass, Inc. Mosaic, an early commercial web browser with formal ties to the pioneering National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Mosaic browser. Microsoft licensed Spyglass Mosaic in late 1994 for a quarterly fee plus a percentage of Microsoft’s non-Windows revenues. Spyglass Mosaic, despite having the name NCSA Mosaic, had used the NCSA Mosaic source code sparingly.



The first version, dubbed Microsoft Internet Explorer, was included in the Microsoft Plus! pack for Windows 95 as part of the Internet Jumpstart Kit. In its early stages, the Internet Explorer team consisted of about six people. Several months later, Internet Explorer 1.5 for Windows NT was released, adding support for basic table rendering. They avoided paying royalties to Spyglass Inc by including it free of charge with their operating system, which resulted in a lawsuit and an $8 million settlement on January 22, 1997.



In 1996, Microsoft was sued for trademark infringement by SyNet Inc., which claimed ownership of the name “Internet Explorer.” Microsoft agreed to pay $5 million to settle the lawsuit.

Version 2 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 2 was released on November 22, 1995, for Windows 95 and Windows NT, and on April 23, 1996, for Apple Macintosh and Windows 3.1.


Version 3 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 3 was released on August 13, 1996, for Microsoft Windows and on January 8, 1997, for Apple Mac OS.


Version 4 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 4 was released in September 1997 for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Solaris, and HP-UX.

Version 5 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 5 was released on March 18, 1999, for Windows 3.1, Windows NT 3, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 SP3, Windows 98, Mac OS X (up to version 5.2.3), Classic Mac OS (up to version 5.1.7), Solaris, and HP-UX (up to 5.01 SP1).


Version 6 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 6 was released on August 24, 2001, for Windows NT 4.0 SP6a, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and as the default web browser for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.


Version 7 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 7 was released on October 18, 2006, for Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and as the default web browser for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009.


Microsoft Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 was released on March 19, 2009, for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, and as the default web browser for Windows 7 (later Internet Explorer 11) and Windows Server 2008 R2.


Version 9 of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 9 is the ninth major version of Internet Explorer, released on March 14, 2011, with the Platform Update for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, and Windows Server 2008 SP2.


Microsoft Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 10 was released on October 26, 2012, for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and as the default web browser for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.


Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

Windows 8.1, which was released on October 17, 2013, includes Internet Explorer 11. It has an insufficient mechanism for syncing tabs. It is a significant update to its developer tools, with improved scaling for high DPI screens, HTML5 prerender and prefetch, hardware-accelerated JPEG decoding, closed captioning, HTML5 full screen, and it is the first Internet Explorer to support WebGL and Google’s SPDY protocol (starting at v3). This version of Internet Explorer includes Windows 8.1-specific features such as cryptography (WebCrypto), adaptive bitrate streaming (Media Source Extensions), and Encrypted Media Extensions.


On November 7, 2013, Internet Explorer 11 became available for download for Windows 7 users, with Automatic Updates following in the coming weeks.


The user agent string in Internet Explorer 11 now identifies the agent as “Trident” (the underlying browser engine) rather than “MSIE.” It also mentions Gecko compatibility (the browser engine of Firefox).


As of October 15, 2013, Microsoft claimed that Internet Explorer 11, running the WebKit SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, was the fastest browser.


In the spring of 2019, Internet Explorer 11 was made available for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard.

Features of Internet Explorer


Internet Explorer was created to view a wide variety of web pages and to provide certain operating system features, such as Microsoft Update. During the height of the browser wars, Internet Explorer only surpassed Netscape when it caught up technologically to support the progressive features of the time.


Security for Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer employs a zone-based security framework that categorizes sites based on certain criteria, such as whether they are Internet– or intranet-based, as well as a user-editable whitelist. Security restrictions are applied per zone; the restrictions apply to all sites within a zone.


Internet Explorer 6 SP2 and later uses Microsoft Windows’ Attachment Execution Service to flag executable files downloaded from the Internet as potentially unsafe. Accessing such files will prompt the user to make an explicit trust decision before executing the file, as executables downloaded from the Internet can be potentially dangerous. This aids in the prevention of malware installation by accident.


The phishing filter was introduced in Internet Explorer 7, which restricts access to phishing sites unless the user overrides the decision. It also blocks access to sites known to host malware in version 8. Downloads are also screened to see if they are malware-infected.


Internet Explorer runs in Protected Mode by default in Windows Vista, where the browser’s privileges are severely limited—it cannot make any system-wide changes. This mode can be turned off if desired, but it is not recommended. This effectively limits the capabilities of any add-ons. As a result, even if the browser or any add-on is compromised, the potential damage from a security breach is limited. Patches and updates to the browser are released on a regular basis and made available via the Windows Update service as well as Automatic Updates. Although security patches are still being released for a variety of platforms, most feature additions and security infrastructure improvements are only available on Microsoft’s mainstream support operating systems.Trend Micro advised users to use alternative browsers until an emergency patch was released to address a potential security risk that “could allow outside users to take control of a person’s computer and steal their passwords.” Microsoft representatives disputed this recommendation, claiming that the flaw affected “0.02 percent of internet sites.” Because of a “critical security hole” in Microsoft’s software that could allow hackers to remotely plant and run malicious code on Windows PCs, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, known by its German initials, BSI, advised “temporary use of alternative browsers” in 2010. Accuvant, a Google-funded research firm, rated Internet Explorer’s security (based on sandboxing) as worse than Google Chrome but better than Mozilla Firefox in 2011.A 2017 browser security white paper by X41 D-Sec comparing Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer 11 reached similar conclusions, based on sandboxing and support for legacy web technologies.






















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