Today, Internet Explorer will take its last byte. Microsoft will be retiring Internet Explorer after 27 years of trusty service – first introduced in 1995 as an add-on for the Windows 95 operating system, when browsers still needed to be installed by CD-rom. The decision comes as web developers become less able to make their sites compatible with the much-loved (and sometimes meme-d) IE, and the future now lay in the hands of Microsoft Edge.
Let’s take it back to August 1995 – the Nokia 2190 mobile phone was a fashion accessory, listening to music on the go meant carrying a discman, PlayStation One had just been invented, Google was just a twinkle in Larry Paige’s eye, and we were saying goodbye to VCR and hello to DVD.
When Microsoft first came to be, founder Bill Gates articulated their vision as “a microcomputer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software”. Now as I am writing this, I have three computers in front of me and two waiting for me when I get home. While it seemed other-worldly and rather ridiculous at the time, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer really did pave the way for modern technology, allowing people to browse the web, connect with people from afar and access information like never before.
Internet Explorer acted as a gateway into the internet world, MSN, AltaVista and dial up connection were all products of this era, and while many haven’t used the browser in years, it does come with a level of 90’s nostalgia.
Bill Gates said “The Internet is a tidal wave. It changes the rules. It is an incredible opportunity as well as incredible challenge.” 27 years has brought changes such as ‘The Cloud’, NBN connection and social media, so the question is – where will the next 27 years take us?