WEB & TECH / MAR. 22, 2015
version 6, draft 6

Microsoft Killing Off Internet Explorer & 4 Other Major Tech Deaths

This is the end...of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, a web browser that many thought died a decade ago. The main joke around the web is that users only open up Internet Explorer to download Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and perhaps this is why Microsoft is killing off (sort of) its own creation.

See Also: 3 Facts that Prove Facebook will lose the Majority of its Users by 2017

Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer for Microsoft, announced this week at the Microsoft Convergence conference that the software behemoth is replacing IE with a brand new web browser. This is part of a project named Spartan and will complement the launch of Windows 10 sometime this spring.

For those who still adore IE, it will be available in certain versions of its Windows operating system as part of its legacy support. However, it will mainly go extinct moving forward, something that many say is long overdue considering the ubiquity of Chrome and Firefox.

“We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10,” said Capossela. “We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser . . . code-named Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”

Despite the marketplace shunning IE, this web browser was a pioneer in the early days of the Internet. Much of what we know to this date, such as Ajax or Javascript, is because of IE. Nonetheless, from its lack of speed to constant bugs, users have chuckled at IE for a very long time, and this could hurt Microsoft’s new web browser.

Tech experts purport that Microsoft will have to consider securing URLs, attaining trademarks and focusing on rebranding. In addition, the software giant must shed its negative image - it is the world’s "most hated browser" after all - and prove to users that the latest incarnation of its web browser will be just as good as or even better than Chrome or Firefox. These two brands control 85 percent of the web browser market, 63 and 22 percent, respectively.

"What will be crucial for Microsoft to get right is the user experience," said Tom Sepanski, naming and verbal identity director for Landor North America, in an interview with AdWeek. "They can name this thing in whatever strategic way they want but if the product doesn’t live up to expectations, if they can’t deliver on the new promise, it’s not going to be successful."   

Now that Internet Explorer has entered into the dustbins of history, it is a good time to commemorate four other important and once-popular tech crazes that dominated the World Wide Web and pop culture for so long.

 

1. MySpace

Before Facebook and Twitter, there was MySpace, a social network that was the most popular website for the youth of the day. It became so popular that it was sold for $580 million to News Corporation. After a few years, the novelty of MySpace wore off and Facebook reigned supreme in the world of social media. MySpace is still around, and it’s primarily a music hub and a destination to regain long lost photos.

2. Netscape

If you time travel to the 1990s, you will notice the prevalence of Netscape, the very first web browser that went head-to-head with Internet Explorer. Netscape was the first browser to allow users to both surf the web and send emails. It eventually shut down in 2007 and will now join IE in the history books. 

3. Napster

We all remember Limewire and Imesh, but Napster was the most prolific peer-to-peer file sharing website around at the time. Although Napster gained plenty of enemies within the music industry, it revolutionized the digital music field and established the era of illegal file downloading that we know (and love, er, hate) today.

4. Tamagotchi

If you were a ’90s child, then you are very well aware of the ubiquity of the Tamagotchi. This was a digital pet you put in your pocket and took care of. If you didn’t love it, feed it and let it sleep then it perished. To this date, Tamagotchi remains popular and still sells millions of products worldwide. A motion picture was even made based upon the Tamagotchi. 

See Also: What We Can Learn From the iPhone Bendgate Scandal

The 1990s and early-2000s were certainly interesting times for millennials in all facets of media, entertainment, politics and overall pop culture. Are you an IE lover or perhaps even a secret Tamagotchi fanatic? We won’t judge you I swear! Your thoughts and comments below please...

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