Microsoft is finally putting Internet Explorer out to pasture.

According to a report by The Verge yesterday, Microsoft will let the branding die for their internet browser. In its place will arise a new browser, codenamed ‘Project Spartan’ (yes, that’s another Halo reference), which will release with the forthcoming Windows 10. Internet Explorer was set to release alongside Spartan in Windows 10.

Except now… it won’t?

The History of Internet Explorer

We can’t help but feel kind of bad for Internet Explorer. It had its time in the spotlight—and far more than a mere fifteen minutes of fame. Look at it this way: Internet Explorer was in full force while internet marketing was learning to walk.

Internet Explorer tread new ground in the early 90s, battling it out in the browser wars before conquering Netscape (source: Wikipedia). But as the years went on and we gained access to new, sexy, and safer web browsers, the world seemed to forget all about Internet Explorer.

Worse than that—the world began to ridicule it.

Internet Explorer became a target for mockery on a hyperbolic scale; calling it your grandma’s web browser was insulting to your grandma.

However, Microsoft is still an industry giant. They aren’t afraid to change things up when the people have spoken, or if it doesn’t benefit them. We saw this happen with the Xbox in the battle against Sony’s PlayStation, and we saw it again with Hotmail’s integration into Outlook.

Realistically, they must have seen IE as not pulling its weight, no matter what people said about it. So they’re pulling the plug.

Please, no tears—it had a long, happy life. It made it all the way up to Internet Explorer 11.

Is This Really the End for Internet Explorer?

In spite of all this, Internet Explorer is still used in the SEO world among the tech-savvy. Its basic functionality makes it useful for testing, or a reliable alternative when Chrome and Firefox are acting up. Sure, you don’t feel cool while using it—but usability often takes a backseat to flashy features.

So are we really seeing Internet Explorer ending?

Not quite. The Verge reports that Internet Explorer will stick around on some versions of Windows 10 for “enterprise purposes.” That’s right—you’ll still be able to party like it’s Internet Explorer 8 and test your apps and pages for compatibility. And you’ll still find versions of Internet Explorer for Windows 7, 8, and Vista.

Although future instances of the name “Internet Explorer” will cease to be.

We have no word of Microsoft Internet Explorer support ending, merely the brand. (Internet Explorer 12 is not likely to happen). This is not a rebranding, mind you; the Project Spartan web browser is reportedly a new build. But we’ll just have to wait and see how truly different it will be.

Will this impact the way we offer our SEO services? Time will tell!

Is IE’s demise long overdue? Or is Microsoft just giving in to unpopular opinion? Let us know what you think!