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Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer, commonly abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a series of graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, starting in 1995.

OS compatibilityEdit

IE versions, over time, have had widely varying OS compatibility, ranging from being available for many platforms and several versions of Windows to only a few versions of Windows. Many versions of IE had some support for an older OS but stopped getting updates. The increased growth of the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s means that current browsers with small market shares have more total users than the entire market early on. For example, 90% market share in 1997 would be roughly 60 million[1] users, but by the start of 2007 90% market share would equate to over 900 million users.[1] The result is that later versions of IE6 had many more users in total than all the early versions put together.

The release of IE7 at the end of 2006 resulted in a collapse of IE6 market share; by February 2007, market version share statistics showed IE6 at about 50% and IE7 at 29%.[2] Regardless of the actual market share, the most compatible version (across operating systems) of IE was 5.x, which had Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, Unix, and most Windows versions available and supported for a short period in the late 1990s (although 4.x had a more unified codebase across versions). By 2007, IE had much narrower OS support, with the latest versions supporting only Windows XP Service Pack 2 and above. Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, and 7.0 (Experimental) have also been unofficially ported to the Linux operating system from the project IEs4Linux.

Availability on desktop operating systems
Operating system Latest stable version Support status
Microsoft Windows Windows 7 or later/Windows Server 2008 R2 or later 11.0.75 2009–
Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 9.0.8112.16421 2006–2017
Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 8.0.6001.18702 2001–2014
Windows NT 4.0/98/2000/ME 6.0 SP1 1996–2010
Windows 95 5.5 SP2 1995–2002
Windows 3.1x/Windows NT 3.x 5.01 SP2 1995–2001
Windows NT 3.51 3.0 1995–2001
Windows NT 3.1 2.0 1993–2000

VersionsEdit

Microsoft Internet Explorer 1 (1995)Edit

Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 (1995)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 2

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 (1996)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 3

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 (1997)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 4

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (1999)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 5

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (2000)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 5.5

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (2001)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 6

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (2006)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 7

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (2009)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (2011)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 (2012)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 11 (2013)Edit

Main article: Internet Explorer 11

Release history for desktop Windows OS versionEdit

Color Meaning
Pink Old test release; unsupported
Red Old release; unsupported
Orange Old release; extended support only
Yellow Old release; supported
Green Current release
  • Service packs are not included unless significant.
Major version Minor version Release date Significant changes Shipped with
Version 1 1.0 August 16, 1995 Initial release. Plus! for Windows 95
1.5 January 1996 Compatible with Windows NT 3.5
Version 2 2.0 Beta October 1995 Support of HTML tables and other elements.
2.0 November 22, 1995 SSL, cookies, VRML, and Internet newsgroups. Windows NT 4.0
Windows 95 OSR1
Internet Starter Kit
2.01 August 1996 Bug fix release.
Version 3 3.0 Alpha 1 March 1996 Improved support of HTML tables, frames, and other elements.
3.0 Alpha 2 May 29, 1996 Support of VBScript and JScript.
3.0 Beta 2 July 17, 1996 Support of CSS and Java.
3.0 August 13, 1996 Final release. Windows 95 OSR 2
3.01 October 30, 1996 Bug fix release.
3.02 March 25, 1997 Bug fix release.
3.03 April 1997 Bug fix release.
Version 4 4.0 Beta 1 April 1997 Improved support of CSS and Microsoft DOM.
4.0 Beta 2 July 1997 Improved support of HTML and CSS.
4.0 September 1997 Improved support of HTML and CSS. Windows 95 OSR 2.5
4.01 November 18, 1997 Bug fix release. Windows 98
Version 5 5.0 Beta 1 June 2, 1998 Support of more CSS2 features.
5.0 Beta 2 November 15, 1998 Support of bi-directional text, ruby character, XML/XSL and more CSS properties.
5.0 March 18, 1999 Final release. Windows 98 SE
5.01 November 8, 1999 Bug fix release. Last version supported on Windows 3.x and Windows NT 3.x. Windows 2000
5.5 Beta 1 December 25, 1999 Support of more CSS properties. Minor changes to support of frames.
5.5 July 8, 2000 Final release. Last version supported on Windows 95. Windows ME
5.6 August 18, 2000 Released for Windows Whistler build 2257. Windows Whistler
Version 6 6.0 Beta 1 March 22, 2001 More CSS changes and bug fixes to be more W3C-compliant. Add new feature Smart tag
6.0 August 27, 2001 Final release. remove the Smart tag again. Windows XP
Windows Server 2003
6.0 SP1 September 9, 2002 Vulnerability patch. Last version supported on Windows NT 4.0, 98, 2000 and ME. Windows XP SP1
6.05 October 1, 2003 Released for Windows Longhorn build 4051. Windows Longhorn build 4051-4094
6.0 SP2 August 25, 2004 Vulnerability patch. Popup/ActiveX blocker. Add-on manager. Windows XP SP2
Windows Server 2003 SP1
6.0 SP3 April 21, 2008 Latest updates included with XP SP3. Windows XP SP3
Windows Server 2003 SP2
Version 7 7.0 Beta 1 July 27, 2005 Support of PNG alpha channel. CSS bug fixes. Tabbed browsing. Support for EV SSL certificate. Phishing filter. Windows Vista Beta 1
7.0 Beta 2 Preview January 31, 2006 More CSS fixes. Web feeds platform integration. New GUI. Quick Tabs.
7.0 Beta 2 April 24, 2006 Feature complete. More CSS fixes. Application compatibility fixes.
7.0 Beta 3 June 29, 2006 Fixes rendering issues for CSS.
7.0 RC 1 August 24, 2006 Improvements in performance, stability, security, application compatibility and final CSS adjustments.
7.0 October 18, 2006 Final release. Windows Vista
Windows Server 2008
Version 8 8.0 Beta 1 March 5, 2008 CSS 2.1, Contextual Services. Accelerators. Web Slices. Tab isolation and DEP protection enabled by default. Automatic crash recovery. Improved phishing and malware filter (SmartScreen). Uses 6 HTTP server connections for improved website responsiveness.
8.0 Beta 2 August 27, 2008 CSS 2.1 bug fixes. InPrivate browsing. Smart address bar. Search suggestions. Tab color grouping. Caret browsing. Windows 7 Pre-Beta
8.0 Pre-RC 1 December 11, 2008 CSS bug fixes. Improved Developer Tools. Changes in Compatibility View. Improved Favorites management and other minor changes to UI. Changes to InPrivate browsing and blocking modes. Windows 7 Beta
8.0 RC1 January 26, 2009 CSS bug fixes. Minor changes in favorites management and search bar.
8.0 March 19, 2009 Final release. Last version supported on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Windows 7
Windows Server 2008 R2
Version 9 9.0 Platform Preview 1

v1.9.7745.6019

March 16, 2010 Support for some CSS3 selectors (including border-radius property), HTML5 and SVG. New JavaScript engine (code name Chakra). Added support for graphics and web rendering hardware acceleration, using Direct2D and DirectWrite.
9.0 Platform Preview 2

v1.9.7766.6000

May 5, 2010 Support for more functions in SVG, HTML5, DOM. Added support for all CSS3 selectors. JavaScript performance improvements.
9.0 Platform Preview 3

v1.9.7874.6000

June 23, 2010 Support for HTML5 <audio>, <video> and <canvas> tags. Support for WOFF fonts. JavaScript and graphics performance improvements.
9.0 Platform Preview 4

v1.9.7916.6000

August 4, 2010 CSS bug fixes. Support for ECMAScript5 (ES5). JScript engine integrated into the core browser components (architectural change). Performance improvements.
9.0 Beta & 9.0 Platform Preview 5

v1.9.7930.16406

September 15, 2010 New UI, Download manager, New Tab page, Search in the address bar, Notification Bar, Add-on Performance Advisor
9.0 Platform Preview 6

v1.9.8006.6000

October 28, 2010 CSS3 2D transforms and HTML5 semantic tags.
9.0 Platform Preview 7

v1.9.8023.6000

November 17, 2010 Better JavaScript performance.
9.0 Release Candidate & 9.0 Platform Preview 8

1.9.8080.16413

February 10, 2011 Performance improvements, Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, paste and navigate, enhancements to user interface, and support for the W3C Geolocation API.
9.0 March 14, 2011 Improved performance, improved Tracking Protection, and the option to pin multiple targets per page. Last version supported on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
Version 10 10.0 Platform Preview 1

v2.10.1000.16394

April 12, 2011 Support for CSS3 multi-column layout, CSS3 grid layout, CSS3 flexible box layout, CSS3 gradients, and ES5 strict mode.
10.0 Platform Preview 2

v2.10.1008.16421

June 29, 2011 Support for Positioned Floats, CSS stylesheet limit lifted, CSSOM Floating Point Value support, Improved hit testing APIs, Media Query Listeners, HTML5: Support for async attribute on script elements, HTML5 Drag and Drop, HTML5 File API, HTML5 Sandbox, HTML5 Web Workers, and some Web Performance APIs.
10.0 Developer Preview

v10.0.8102.0 - Platform Preview 3

September 13, 2011 Support for Windows 8, CSS 3D Transforms, CSS Text shadow, SVG Filter Effects, Spellchecking, Autocorrection, local storage with IndexedDB and the HTML5 Application Cache, Web Sockets, HTML5 History, and InPrivate tabs. Windows 8 Developer Preview
10.0 Developer Preview

v10.0.8103.0 - Platform Preview 4

November 29, 2011 Windows 8 Developer Preview
10.0 Consumer Preview

v10.0.8250.0 - Platform Preview 5

February 29, 2012 Improved performance and support for more HTML5. Windows 8 Consumer Preview
10.0 Release Preview

v10.0.8400.0 - Platform Preview 6

May 31, 2012 Windows 8 Release Preview
10.0 October 26, 2012 Final release. The only version supported on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Windows 8
Windows Server 2012
Version 11 11.0 Preview

11.0.9431.0

June 26, 2013 Windows 8.1 only. Improved support for HTML5 and CSS3. Support for WebGL and SPDY. New Modern UI-interface and developer tools. Windows 8.1 Preview
11.0 Release Preview

11.0.9431.0

September 18, 2013 Windows 7 only.
11.0 October 17, 2013 The default browser in Windows 8.1. Last version supported on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows 8.1
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows 10
Windows Server 2016