Is the web changing as a result of IE's EOL?

Inspired by The baseline for web development in 2022 article, which leads with:

The biggest change that happened in 2021 ~ The retirement of Internet Explorer

That got me wondering if there are any observable effects of Microsoft’s announcement in May 2021. Support will officially end in June 2022, but we might already be able to see changes in the web.

Unfortunately, this post is more questions than answers, but I’d love to hear ideas from the community to measure the effect.

The author of the blog post notes that IE’s lack of proper CSS Grid support may explain the huge gap between Flexbox and Grid adoption. While I’m not quite sure that “developers are giving up on using Grid”, I do think it might be interesting to watch Grid adoption as a potential signal of the IE effect.

Another potential signal to watch may be IE-specific CSS fallbacks/hacks. lists a few ways to target IE using CSS hacks, like:

_:-ms-input-placeholder, :root .selector {}


@media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) {}

We could grep stylesheets (or query the parsed CSS) for these hacks and see who’s using them and whether usage is declining.

There may be some opportunities to positively affect the ecosystem from this analysis. For example, if a major CMS is including KB of IE-specific styles, maybe we could use the data to find them and recommend that they remove it to lighten the payload and improve UX slightly for everyone.

Any other ideas for signals to watch?

1 Like