At the end of the movie “Titanic,” from her makeshift raft Rose Calvert promises Jack Dawson, “I will never let go,” but then, well, a floating board is only so big…
On June 1, we will gently release Internet Explorer, version 11, from the list of browsers supported on our website Archive.org into the oceanic depths of the obsolete. To give you an idea of what this means to us, a member of the UX team composed this little remembrance:
We hate you. Good-bye.
Why the ichor? Why the bile? No doubt one too many sleepless nights struggling to make our website layout work with this venerable browser, released in 2013, which lacks support for so many features that are now standard in today’s browsers: module imports, web components, CSS Grid, ES6, the list goes on. Like its ancestor IE6, version 11 has clung to life far longer than it should have.
Though Microsoft support for it will not officially end until 2025, Microsoft’s Chief of Security, Chris Jackson, recently recommended in a blog post that people stop using IE11 as their default browser. It is considered a “compatibility solution,” something you should only use for services that require it. Our analytics indicate that a mere 0.8% of our users use IE11 to browse the site. (Even worldwide usage is at 1-3%, the bulk of it from a country in which we are blocked.)
Plus, maintaining compatibility with IE11 — with its need for polyfills, transpilation, and other workarounds — gets expensive, especially for a small team such as ours. Generously supported by donations from people like you, we are committed to doing the greatest good with the resources we have, making the world’s knowledge available to as many people as possible. IE11 is a distraction, with a diminished and ever diminishing return on our efforts.
So farewell, IE11. We will sleep better and rise with a little more spring in our step, knowing that your phrase with us has reached its conclusion.