The end of support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is mostly seen in the west as inevitable, but some Japanese users will be sad, if not worried, to see the 27-year-old software program in its death throes.
Microsoft has been encouraging users to move to its Edge browser, and announced the end of support for Explorer on Wednesday.
“Over the next few months, opening Internet Explorer will progressively redirect users to our new modern browser, Microsoft Edge with IE mode,” Sean Lyndersay, general manager, Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
Explorer’s usage rate among individual Japanese users is low – just 1.5% according to Statscounter data – well behind market leader Chrome with 50.2% and Safari’s 27%.
But according to a March survey by Japanese tech site Keyman’s Net, 49.1% of businesses used Explorer when they had to connect with government websites.
Software developers have been receiving anxious inquiries from Japanese government agencies, financial institutions, manufacturers and retailers about alternatives, the Nikkei reported.
“Eventually, Internet Explorer will be disabled permanently as part of a future Windows Update, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on users’ devices will be removed,” Lyndersay wrote.
An abridged version of Lyndersay’s post was available in Japanese for worried users in that country.
- George Russell