You'd likely remember Internet Explorer if you lived in the '90s or early 2000s. For many of us, this was the go-to internet browser for households and businesses. Forced upon us with every new Windows computer bought during the time, the bright blue and yellow logo was often side-lined by many other and, let's face it, better internet browsers.
After gracing us with its presence for over 26 years, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on Internet Explorer. That's right, as of the 15th of June 2022, Internet Explorer is officially dead. So, whether you loved or loathed it, we're here to discuss the fond memories and annoyances this internet browser made us all endure.
Internet Explorer: pure nostalgia or just a fever dream?
The early 2000s saw a considerable spike in households and businesses incorporating computers and internet access into daily life. In 2003, Internet Explorer had around 90% of the global usage share for web browsing, according to TheCounter.com. However, this is when Internet Explorer peaked, and once committed, users started using other browsers.
But was Internet Explorer that bad? Well, for the period of when it first launched, probably not. But, of course, most of us in the 90s and mid- 00s still used dial-up internet, so we will remember how painfully slow browsing was. But perhaps we didn't know any different?
Although it dominated the computer market for several years, Internet Explorer received criticism for its inadequate security. In 2004, CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) even went as far as to advise PC users to use any other internet browsing service, just not Internet Explorer. 'Scob' or 'Download. Ject keyloggers' were the most significant scam culprits, known to easily infiltrate Internet Explorer browsing tabs and steal passwords and personal data. Although Microsoft eventually fixed that particular security hiccup, it continued to have serious security issues throughout the mid-'00s when more and more individuals were using computers daily.
What else did Internet Explorer do wrong?
Microsoft ignored the guidelines monitored by the World Wide Web Consortium, an organisation that outlines the standards required for web technologies. As a result, Internet Explorer regularly made web pages look entirely different on its browser than their competitors like Firefox and Opera. This is an example of not following the guidelines, something Microsoft Internet Explorer was regularly guilty of.
Updates. Something Internet Explorer only pushed a handful of times. Internet Explorer updates typically coincide with a new laptop or PC launch. Between the 8th and 11th itineration, Microsoft only updated Internet Explorer on four separate occasions. Microsoft seems a bit lazy compared to Google Chrome's first decade, which was filled with over 70 updates. With the lack of updates from Internet Explorer, it quickly became slow and unreliable against its main browser competitors. For such a vast PC company, Microsoft seemed unable to compete with other web browsing companies. As the early 2010s presented the masses with smartphones and access to mobile data, Internet Explorer quickly fell even further as the favourite choice for desktop and mobile users alike.
It's easy to look back and cringe at Internet Explorer, but we must admit that it was one of the pioneers of accessible web browsing. At its peak, Internet Explorer set the bar for newer and innovative web browsing options, albeit subpar. All Windows PCs and laptops had Internet Explorer already pre-loaded onto each machine, giving many users no choice but to utilise the controversial web browser. Many claims that Microsoft impacted the internet and the web browsing process, especially in the early days of web surfing.
Although the thought of the iconic blue and yellow logo might make you reminisce about your youth, Internet Explorer refused to adapt to the ever-changing personal technology market. Modern internet users refuse to wait for pages to load and have no patience for unsupported files or programs. We needed access yesterday. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer lacked relevant and regular updates and thus, got left behind.
Does the thought of Internet Explorer fill us with gooey nostalgia? Yes. Does it belong in the 00s along with VHS tapes and floppy disks? We think so. Thanks, Internet Explorer, you had a good run.