Why is Internet Explorer still around, what kind of applications or businesses still use it?



Pretty much the title

In: Technology

For example I worked in a company that used some house developed software for the product database, and that only really worked in explorer, redeveloping the software would be expensive and licensing a third party software would also be very expensive, basically if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

The company where I work does CAD drawings using an obsolete program called CADKey. To look at these drawings, we use a program called Autovue, that for some, reason doesn’t seem to work with modern browsers. Internet Explorer is the only one. We use IE to quickly look through these CADKey files. That being said, our IT dept is looking into ways to do this without IE right now…

IE was around for long enough, and for a long time was the only browser with really solid enterprise support, that a ton of early corporate web applications were written for it and used custom IE functions that aren’t present in any other browser. I used to work somewhere that the entire CRM software was a highly customized version of Siebel and it only worked on IE. You don’t just roll your entire CRM suite without being *really* sure it will work, and the business case to roll it is always terrible…it’s always cheaper to keep IE than to rewrite the software. Eventually you get forced into it when Microsoft sunsets it, but you hold out as long as possible.

For mission critical applications you’re way more concerned about stability that “latest technology”. IE has been really stable for a really long time.

If you don’t use special functions or 3rd party apps in your browser, there’s nothing wrong with IE. I use it when I need to hop on my husbands computer so I don’t accidentally mess up anything he has open, and tbh I don’t really notice a difference from chrome or Firefox.

For people that have been using it for 20 years just fine, why switch?

Aside from all the other ones mentioned like healthcare programs that’ll only run on XP machines running IE8 or lower (in Canada, saw this 3 years ago…),. the biggest WTF is Nuance’s latest product, dragon medical online, which just came out 3 years ago can only be installed using ie. Not edge, fucking IE. I immediately thought of them when I saw the news ie was finally being banished to the depths of hell where it belongs.

Every company I have ever worked for has had some proprietary web interface or software that *only* worked in Internet Explorer. Many times it even required an older version of Internet Explorer. You would be surprised at the number of uses it still has in the business world.

SharePoint 2007 only worked well an IE and it was really hard to migrate all the customizations we did to it, and they didn’t want to spend the money to do it correctly

There are also plenty of apps and built-in web servers for low-cost devices that only work with IE. Like network cameras / security recorders, thermostats, and other cheap Chinese IoT junk. Especially so if it needs special plugins to display video or live data, those are usually IE-only. I figured it’s because all the electronics manufacturers have pirated copies of XP so they just develop their poorly-translated admin pages for IE.

Nobody mentioned this yet but IE has (or had) a thing called ActiveX objects. This was a way for IE to do things that are now deemed insecure but also had ways of manipulating files on PC’s and reading certain things on drives. Using JavaScript you could run a script that read files locally on a C drive and that was a quick way for it guys to prototype more complex apps than what was possible at the time. Certain apps relied on this and probably still do, as it’s never had the budget or time to change.