Goodbye, Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s browser created in part to battle Netscape Navigator and a key element in the Department of Justice’s antitrust investigation into the firm, has died. It was 20.

Or rather, the ghost of IE will live on in Windows for enterprise compatibility. But a new browser, codenamed Project Spartan, will take its place when the company rolls out Windows 10, The Verge and others reported.

Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s marketing head, announced the news at Microsoft Convergence conference Monday in Atlanta, Georgia:

We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10. We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.

This is a major decision. Released first in August 1995, IE was integrated in Windows and captured 90 percent of market share. Even now, as it is being buried, IE has about 60 percent of the worldwide market, as Time reported back in January when the company first publicly mentioned Spartan.

There have been issues with IE, which have accelerated its drop in market share compared to Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

IE hasn’t made serious inroads with mobile. Internet Explorer 6, released in 2001, faced harsh criticism for its security and clunkiness. It received several key updates that improved the product, but in December, Dean Hachamovitch, the Internet Explorer team manager, left the firm.

Killing off IE is part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s efforts to shake the Redmond, Washington firm out of its complacency.

But it’s also a marketing move. It turns out, Capossela said, that the “Microsoft” brand has more of a draw than “Windows” or “Internet Explorer.”

Image by E. Paul Baca.


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  • questions:
    1) does this mean granny’s copy of IE (not updated nearly forever) gonna stop working?
    2) stop working Soon?
    3) um, err, i always forget the 3rd thing.
    4) lastly, will she notice?

  • Shannon Thrasher

    just give up microsoft, you lost to a bunch of guys doing it part time.

  • stopbashing

    I was part of a team that built a browser, but have never worked for Microsoft.
    Please remember that millions of man hours of hard work
    went into IE, despite its shortcomings. IE was also used by millions of people who found it useful. Please have some respect for Microsoft, its engineers and its community of users.