Microsoft retires iconic Internet Explorer

Microsoft is retiring on Wednesday its 27-year-old browser Internet Explorer, the gateway to information for a generation

June 14, 2022 05:59 pm | Updated June 15, 2022 04:02 pm IST

Internet Explorer logo.

Internet Explorer logo. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Time was when this icon, designed around the letter ‘e’, in blue with an orbit around it, would usually be the first one you would click on the desktop of your computer. For a generation, Internet Explorer, which debuted in 1995, was the gateway to the world of information and entertainment, but it has been steadily losing in popularity and on Wednesday, its creator Microsoft is retiring it.

Like many things associated with the Internet we thought we could not do without, Internet Explorer is also bidding adieu. Remember Orkut? By the time Orkut, a social network site that used to compete with Facebook, shut down in 2014, Internet Explorer was no longer the browser that most people used to log in for one last time. Internet Explorer’s monopoly – it once had a usage share of 95% — had long gone.

‘Cherished memory’

But for those who first surfed the web when the speed read something like 64kbps, and the possibility of streaming an HD video without buffering would have almost sounded like science fiction, the blue icon of Internet Explorer is a cherished memory. Like actress Priyanka Nair. “I recall using Internet Explorer to send my photos to directors at a time the connectivity was awfully slow,” says Priyanka, the State-Award winning actress who played a prominent role in 12th Man. “Though like everybody else I also migrated to Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Safari, I still use Internet Explorer on my 20-year-old HP laptop. So I feel sad that Microsoft is retiring it.”

She has many fond memories about using Internet Explorer. “I started using it while I was at school,” she says. “I remember downloading mp3 files of songs overnight. Even for those small files, you needed hours to complete the download. So I would keep my laptop switched on all through the night.”

A.T. Varun, who used to work as a computer technician in Kozhikode before venturing into business, says he could not have imagined that the icon of the Internet Explorer would disappear from the desktop one day. “Many of the customers I serviced used only Internet Explorer even when other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Chrome arrived at the screen,” he says.

If you still want to use Internet Explorer, you could do it through Microsoft’s replacement browser Edge. It has an Internet Explorer mode.

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