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    Front end developers have faced a lot of derision over the last decade for ostensibly overly complicated build tools and bundle sizes. Some of it is deserved, but most is born of necessity. Modern JavaScript is usually transformed and bundled with polyfills so that it’s often larger than its source. This is almost entirely to support IE 11, which has been at a dead end for supporting new standards and lived in the single digits of browser share (or lower) for most of its life. Why we’ve gone to so much trouble is hinted at in the announcement:

    If you’re an organization using Internet Explorer, you may have a surprisingly large set of legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and apps, built up over many years. In fact, we found that enterprises have 1,678 legacy apps on average.

    IE 11 was the browser of choice for corporate executives in this dark time in web development because of this of alphabet soup of enterprise CRMs, ERPs, SCMs, FMS’, HRMS’ that depend on proprietary Microsoft technologies like ActiveX. You try getting someone to write you a check when the website you built for them doesn’t run on the browser their IT department installed (and in many cases, mandated). Meanwhile, our project managers are rolling their eyes saying it’ll be some other browser we’ll be complaining about next. No. IE 11 is, for the moment, a singular blight and a cautionary tale about proprietary browser technologies and vendor lock-in.

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      No. IE 11 is, for the moment, a singular blight and a cautionary tale about proprietary browser technologies and vendor lock-in.

      I wouldn’t be so sure it is a singular blight, and we definitely are not learning from it: around 65% of users are using a browser today that can speak directly to USB devices ; a feature which non-dominant browsers rightly consider harmful.

      The bad old days are right around the corner, I’m afraid.

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        Good point. See also Widevine.

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        I’m sure there are lots of enterprise and government shops that will still be dependent on IE11 for years to come.

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        Say what you will about IE, but the time when IE6 reigned supreme was also probably my favorite period of the web’s history. End of an era.

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          I was a huge fan of IE4 when it came out. It just felt so slick compared to IE3 and Netscape. I had similar feelings about Chrome for the first couple years it was around, particularly as it compared to contemporary Firefox, which was a sluggish nightmare.