Should you support Internet Explorer?

Should you support Internet Explorer?

Should you support Internet Explorer?

Short answer: No, you shouldn’t.

There are many drawbacks to using Internet Explorer, which is very unpopular. The following is a list of some of them.
Despite being universally unpopular, the latest Windows 10 computers that we use today still come with Internet Explorer installed by default. Although for some, it is simply used to install Firefox, Chrome or any other browser, for others, it is installed by default in Cybercafés which often force users to browse with it.
Several big websites, including YouTube, GitHub, CodePen, and Apple, no longer support the Internet Explorer browser. CSS Tricks, which teaches developers how to support IE visually, has decided to stop supporting it.

Should you support Internet Explorer

IE should be dropped for various reasons, ranging from insufficient support to lack of technical coherence.

History
Back in 1995, Microsoft shipped the first version of Internet Explorer. Internet browsers (other than Netscape Navigator) hardly competed with each other. IE became indispensable after Microsoft included a free version of IE with every version of Windows OS. It became so essential that we would often receive pop-ups, toasters, and dialogue saying, “This only works in Internet Explorer”. Can you imagine?

Even so, Microsoft did not provide all the improvements needed to keep IE current a few years later. However, as updates surfaced, more and more odd quirks were added to the web browser. Rather than leveraging the power of the web, users and developers resented it because the web increased accessibility and features, while the browser did not.
In an attempt to follow through, Microsoft introduced Pocket Internet Explorer and IE Mobile for Windows phones, which were greatly criticized for the difficulty of implementing basic features compared to other existing browsers.

IE has been a dead browser since 2016. We must take that into account first. Windows Edge, Microsoft’s replacement, was released in 2015. Although EdgeHTML at the time was still a proprietary engine, it was a massive improvement over IE. A Chromium-based version of EdgeHTML was later released in 2019.
Despite this, IE has been losing popularity over time due to more accessible browsers, such as Google Chrome (2008), Firefox (2002), and Safari (2003). With better features, user interfaces, accessibility, and browsing speed, these newer browsers have driven the market elsewhere (away from IE). It’s not surprising that today, Internet Explorer usage is 1.8%. This is due to several factors.

Here are some reasons not to use Internet Explorer
People love things that move forward – IE doesn’t. On top of that, it slows things down a lot. These are a bunch of reasons to stop using/supporting IE.

Features not included
Browser compatibility table from MDN for the Fetch API.

Should you support Internet Explorer?
JavaScript
2020 has arrived. Among the most popular programming languages is JavaScript. Popularity grew with the release of ES6 features, which added a bunch of sweet, functional syntax to JS. Unfortunately, IE couldn’t support these features. Edge is a much more modern replacement provided by Microsoft, so we cannot blame them. Even HTML/CSS extremist developers today have difficulty building great websites without utilizing JavaScript’s power.
HTML and CSS
Every feature of IE is lacking. There are many amazing websites that become “nice” on Internet Explorer once they are created. Let’s take the following example as an example of this lack of support:
Visit https://caniuse.com/
and click on any of the recently added features

Take a look at the first column of the table with the header IE. What do you see? A bright red colour (or orange).
IE cannot only keep up with standards, but it also forces developers to put in a lot of effort for little reward.
Browser APIs
Polyfills could be used to support web APIs on IE, according to some. Despite this, there are many APIs that cannot be polyfilled. Because of this, they aren’t supported by IE. Here are some API comparisons between browsers.
IE has a difficult time being supported, and its tools provide little assistance.
With IE 12, you get some standard developer tools like Console, DOM inspector, Network, and Performance, but they feel very sluggish compared to the other browsers.
Performance
In order to know that IE cannot compete with current performance standards, we don’t need benchmark results. JavaScript isn’t supported by IE 7, as we mentioned before. As a result, JavaScript needs to be transpired to an older version, or polyfills must be used to support some of the features. As a result, performance problems may arise due to these additions.
Security issues
Security issues have plagued IE since 2016. They have been very concerning for users. It has even been deemed a security threat. This is made worse by the fact that IE may have trouble receiving security updates.
Lack of updates
The extended support for IE 11 ends in October 2025, and IE 10 is considered dead. There is a very slow update rate for IE 11. The updates will be security-related rather than feature-related. Microsoft is placing more emphasis on Edge, which competes with most of the modern browsers.

Forsaken by Microsoft

Is it worth using a tool whose creator has abandoned it?
As a better, faster, and more modern alternative, Microsoft strongly recommends users switch to Edge. “All the latest features and updates will only be available in Edge,” Microsoft announced in Fall 2015.

In a recent rant post, Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager, Chris Jackson, spoke about the perils of using Internet Explorer and how people have moved on. Internet Explorer is not easily abandoned, however. IE11 is still shipped with a lot of devices, and it still runs certain file types and protocols by default on Windows.
Extremely labour-intensive and costly

Limitations to opportunities
As a result of Microsoft’s deprecation of IE in 2015, a lot of features have emerged on the modern web. As a result, the web has become much faster and easier to use. There were many suggestions for efficient ways of building websites, all of which will not work in IE.
Because of IE’s lack of support, we, as developers, tend to force backwards compatibility by checking to see if an API exists before using it. In turn, this results in great inefficiency and forces companies to provide users with different experiences when using unsupported browsers.
You might want to write a framework or library that can be used by browsers that rely on proxy features, such as MobX and Vue3. It will be necessary to maintain backwards-compatible versions that can work with old browsers.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t abandon it, either.
You are not required to follow the big fish. You must, however, be fine with all the work needed to make 0.2 per cent of your users happy if you still support IE by choice (not for business purposes).

In IE11, even Gmail does not work correctly. Well, you’ll have to use another program to check your mail.
Because these large tech companies separated themselves from IE, their decision should be followed. Among those who chose progress over compatibility with IE:

Dev.to
GitHub
Stack Overflow
Zendesk
Atlassian
YouTube
Meetup
Slack
Trello
Discord
Spotify
Yahoo

Conclusion
What’s next?

The alternative to Internet Explorer is anything but.
We should not tolerate inefficiency as users or creators. Software is built to make our lives easier. Currently, the web is doing well, and its uprising shouldn’t be constrained by the obligation to support backwards compatibility with a browser that cannot keep up.