Internet Explorer for the Mac is no more

It’s been a while since Microsoft announced that they were no longer developing IE/Mac. Many continued using it, however. Considering the problems the browser that once was the state-of-the-art has with modern CSS-based layouts, I was very happy to learn that Microsoft is now ceasing all support for IE/Mac.

Two posts by former Microsoft employees contain some very interesting comments on the history of IE/Mac: I was on the MacIE 6 team when it got canned… by Jorg Brown and End of an era: Mac Internet Explorer by Jimmy Grewal. Some of the info in those posts was new to me.

Anyway, after December 31, 2005, the browser will no longer be supported. In addition to that, after January 31, 2006 it will no longer be available for download. Good riddance. Unfortunately it will be a while before current users of IE/Mac have migrated to a better browser, partly because of the unwillingness of many developers of online banking systems to keep their skills up-to-date.

But at least we won’t be seeing any new IE/Mac users.

Unless the idea of letting developers use the IE/Mac code to build their own browser takes root. In Keep Internet Explorer for Mac alive, Veerle Pieters notes that BBC technology commentator Bill Thompson suggests just that in Give Mac Explorer to the people.

I say no. Enough is enough, and IE/Mac needs to go away.

Posted on December 22, 2005 in Browsers, Quicklinks


  1. Not only online banking; in general, I know a lot of people who reportedly didn’t switch to a modern browser (or more precisely: switched, but switched back to IE) because “Firefox/Opera/whatever displays pages in a funky way. Why won’t they fix that bug of theirs?” —- this is the mentality that bad webdesign, in general, seeds among non-techy users.

    Still in that matter, curiously enough, I wrote an article on that yesterday (I’ll spare you the self-promotion link, it’s lame and the article is in Portuguese anyway). In it, I wondered how wonderful life would be if IE had a mechanism like MSN Messenger: when a version is not up to the job anymore, it won’t startup until it was updated (at least that’s what happened back when I used MSNM).

  2. Since Microsoft will no longer be offering Mac IE 5 for download on their website, I’m going to provide a community service by linking to it here.


  3. December 23, 2005 by Martin Smales

    Thank goodness IE Mac has no new development nor support. Web standards can then move forward, but with IE 7 coming out, it will be a major leap forward.

    Next announcement to come soon: Web developers to end support for IE Mac. I guess we will let our usage statistics on our websites to tell us if we should continue development for the browser.

    In my opinion, if there are less than 1% of users use IE Mac, I will then make an announcement to cease support for IE Mac. (That works only if I still have IE Mac on my computer to test it with… as there will be no download link on the Microsoft site I think.)

  4. December 23, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    adam: That was my first thought as well. But after thinking about it a bit more I’m not too worried. My guess is that mostly developers will be downloading it.

    Martin: I have started hiding all CSS from IE/Mac on a couple of recently developed sites. IE 5/Win will soon get that treatment too.

  5. The good thing is that you can say that since Microsoft doesn’t offer it you can’t test for it so you can’t support it anymore.

    Merry Christmas y’all.


    My old boss was using IE 5.2 for Mac and was always worried because things didn’t always look the same in it versus IE for Windows, or FF for Windows/Mac or Safari.

    IE 5.2 for Mac is horrible. Period.

  7. Now that we don’t even know when to celebrate “Netscape 4 Is Dead Day” anymore, we can at least mark December 31th as “Internet Explorer 5 for Mac Is Dead Day” in our calendars.

  8. March 1, 2006 by Darrell

    can someone please send me a copy of IE for Mac? I have a web app that only speaks MS Java and need it desparately. thanks.

  9. For those like myself, who need to play with an older browser, here is a link to a wonderful browser archive…

    I just resurrected the bones of Mac IE 5.2!


  10. May 3, 2006 by Jane Christol

    I’m a new user of an iMac with mac os 9.0.3

    It has IE 4.5 on it. I’m not sure how to tell what my bank UBOC supports.

    Would Safari be a good way to go . . does anyone know or want to suggest anything?


    Looks like I found it. But seriously, IE/Mac sucks. I had to download it because 1) it has a javascript debug, and 2) to check browser compatibility.

    What’s really sad is, my website looks better in IE/Mac than IE/Win.

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