Birthed and brought into the world on August 15, 1995, the now 26-year-old Internet Explorer was laid to rest today, June 15, 2022; that truly auspicious day will go down in history. Ok, maybe not, but it should. The dirty old granddad of internet browsers has been collecting malware and viruses like a pirate for longer than many have been alive. My adult kids don’t even remember Internet Explorer.
We knew this day would come as Microsoft announced last year that it would officially retire the ancient (for browsers) Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022 and unlike Internet Explorer in recent years, that plan worked to perfection.
The irascible browser pirate was not only a game-changer when it first arrived on our shores, but it also got into serious trouble with the United States and European governments when Microsoft started packaging it with Windows leading to an antitrust suit which Microsoft lost. The loss in court forced them to allow users to download and use other internet browsers on Windows-powered computers.
Let’s give Internet Explorer its due; it revolutionized internet browsing for a generation and brought Active X Controls, allowing executable HTML code to exist. It was a revelation that created a better, richer, fuller browsing experience. It also became an endless security nightmare that Explorer never fully recovered from. However, like many pirates who suffered from scurvy, Explorer carried on as Microsoft dropped the ball for a long time, allowing competitors like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome to take flight.
Since the 2015 release of Microsoft Edge, the company has been begging users to switch and let Explorer retire, but many refused to let go. Hence, Microsoft kept supporting the aging browser with splints and bandaids until last year’s announcement that the end had finally come for the 26-year-old former champion of the internet. You could choose to keep using it on your own, but know there will be no more security updates, and you’re risking a lot. Would you let one of your family members kiss a pirate with a cough? I would hope not.
I want to thank Microsoft and Internet Explorer for being the first Enterprise of the internet, allowing me to boldly go where no one had gone before. It allowed me to make friends, build my first websites, watch videos on IceBox, read the news, and play Bejeweled while lying in hotels after comedy gigs. I spent so much time on Internet Explorer that it outlived my marriage, two engagements, and my 2006 Chevy Trailblazer.
If anything, the Trailblazing Internet Explorer should be receiving a gold watch, a bottle of Blanton’s, and a trip to Hawaii to sit in the sun and enjoy its final day in peace. Sadly for it, someone is probably booting up their still Windows XP-powered home computer and waking the limping, coughing, laggy pirate up and sending an email via their AOL account that they also refuse to let die.
Thank you, IE; you made the 1990s and early 2000s much more fun and bearable and allowed me to ignore family and friends I no longer talk to. Thank you for the endless hours of reading, entertainment, and online poker games. RIP my old swashbuckling friend. Thanks for the viruses and the first Dominoes Pizza order my family enjoyed together.