The end of Internet Explorer creates problems for Japanese companies


(Bloomberg) – Microsoft Corp. retired its Internet Explorer on Wednesday, ending a quarter-century-old app while causing a minor panic among businesses and government agencies that have built internal systems around the unpopular browser.

Japan is perhaps the country most affected by this decision, because a survey in March found that 49% of businesses in the Asian nation still use IE. Among them, the most common use was for internal management, data exchange and accounting systems. All of these should have been updated or moved to different software since Microsoft announced their IE retirement plans one year agobut the Nikkei reports that many have dithered.

Businesses across the country must now move quickly to ensure they are still able to run operations that previously relied on apps built on Microsoft’s long-running browser.

“The Japanese love security. The bigger the organization or the government, the more reluctant they are to move,” said Tetsutaro Uehara, a professor at Ritsumeikan University. “The biggest problem is that when it comes to government websites, there are only a limited number of vendors who can implement such large systems.”

Internet Explorer, once the world’s dominant browser and the de facto creator of web standards, fell out of favor with its IE6 version, which was marred by feature overload and frustrating performance. Faster and better browsers like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox have taken over, and IE’s share of the global market was a negligible 0.64% last month, according to Statcounter.

Microsoft’s successor to IE, called Edge, is a browser built on the same core platform as Chrome, called Chromium, and is therefore compatible with Chrome extensions and supports much of the same functionality. Microsoft has integrated an IE mode into Edge, which it will support for an additional period beyond today.

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