Internet, Networking, & Security Browsers Internet Explorer Although discontinued, IE is still a browser that gets used By Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated January 21, 2020 Microsoft Browsers Microsoft Chrome Safari Firefox Tweet Share Email Internet Explorer was for many years the default web browser for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. Microsoft has discontinued Internet Explorer and still maintains IE 11. Microsoft Edge replaced IE as the Windows default browser beginning with Windows 10, but IE is still a popular browser for people running older versions of windows. About Internet Explorer Microsoft Internet Explorer contains various internet connection, network file sharing, Active Scripting, and security settings. Among other features, Internet Explorer supports: Proxy server configurationVPN and FTP client capabilitiesRemote administration Internet Explorer received much publicity for several network security holes that were discovered in the past, but newer releases of the browser strengthened the browser's security features to fight phishing and malware. Internet Explorer was the most popular web browser in use worldwide for many years — from 1999 when it surpassed Netscape Navigator until 2012 when Chrome became the most popular browser. Even now, it is used by a lot of Windows users, though less than Microsoft Edge and Chrome. Because of its popularity, it is a popular target of malware. Later versions of the browser were criticized for slow speed and stagnant development. Versions of IE A total of 11 versions of Internet Explorer were released over the years. IE11, which was released in 2013, is the last version of the web browser. At one time, Microsoft made versions of Internet Explorer for Mac's OS X operating system and for Unix machines, but those versions were discontinued as well.