Microsoft will force Internet Explorer users to open some websites in Edge

Popular sites like YouTube, Twitter and Instagram won't be accessible through IE.

Microsoft may have finally devised a way to get people to stop using Internet Explorer once and for all (via ZDNet). When the company releases the next version of its Edge browser, currently slated to come out sometime in November, Internet Explorer users won’t be able to access some 1,156 websites, including popular destinations like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and ESPN. Instead, they’ll be promoted to go to those websites using Microsoft’s more modern, Chromium-based browser.

The list is held on a DLL file Microsoft has been adding to Edge installations over the summer. IE loads the file through a plugin, which then monitors what websites you’re visiting through the browser. When you navigate to one that Microsoft would prefer you not visit through IE, you’ll see the following support page. “You've been redirected to Microsoft Edge where you can continue your browsing uninterrupted,” the company says on the page. “If you come across a site that needs Internet Explorer, you can load that site in Internet Explorer mode without ever leaving Microsoft Edge.”

Four years after Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10, you might think the browser is a non-entity. However, like older versions of Android, there’s still a small but sizeable contingent of people who continue to use the software to navigate the internet. According to StatCounter, as of September 2020, IE has a 1.19 percent share of the worldwide browser market. This IE behavior is part of Microsoft’s plan to deprecate the browser finally. As always, IT administrators will have some say in the matter. But short of not having Edge installed on their PC, there’s little way for consumers to avoid the move.

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