A commonly held belief among heavy web users is that it's only acceptable to use Internet Explorer for the purpose of downloading Firefox or Chrome.

Snarky as this sentiment may seem, for many who have purchased a computer running Windows in recent years it’s also painfully rooted in the fact that Internet Explorer can no longer keep up with its competitors.

Once a market leader with a whopping 95 per cent usage share when it peaked in 2002, Microsoft’s flagship browser has experienced a steady decline in its user base since Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome hit the scene in 2004 and 2008, respectively.

Today Internet Explorer holds just eight per cent of global internet traffic — and a reputation for being the “most-hated web browser” in existence.

Internet Explorer Most Hated

Microsoft had been hinting for years that Internet Explorer would eventually be phased out, but frustrated web developers were never told exactly when its “twilight years” would be over.

This changed Monday when, at long last, the company announced that it would finally be “retiring” Internet Explorer to replace it with a new browser codenamed Project Spartan.

“We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10," said Microsoft's marketing chief Chris Capossela at the Microsoft Convergence conference Monday. "We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing."

Whatever the new browser is called, it will likely have “Microsoft” in the name according to Capossela, as research in the U.K. found the company's name to have a positive impact on consumer perceptions.

Microsoft has yet to reveal the launch date for its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, but many online are already celebrating the end of Internet Explorer’s 20-year-long reign of "error."

For those currently using Internet Explorer, fear not — your browser won't spontaneously delete itself when Windows 10 is released. 

The Verge's Tom Warren reports that Internet Explorer "will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 mainly for enterprise compatibility."

That said, the browser resulting from Project Spartan "will be the primary way for Windows 10 users to access the web."

Rest in peace, Internet Explorer brand. Give our best to Netscape Navigator, and thanks for all the jokes.