Journey of Internet Explorer: The Good, The Bad and The Funny

Microsoft is all set to provide a preview of its new web browser ‘Project Spartan’, along with a new update to its latest OS Windows 10. Project Spartan is set to be the new default browser for windows 10, and looks like the new torch bearer for Microsoft in the race for most dominant web browser in the world. Although all the features which were demonstrated by the company in January are not present for now in this update, Microsoft assures the customers about regular upgrades to the browser before official Windows 10 release.

The day may be remembered as the beginning of Project Spartan, but surely it will be remembered as the ‘beginning of the end’ for Microsoft’s ‘old timer’ web browser ‘Internet Explorer. As Microsoft announced its decision to phase out IE as their default browser this month.

The announcement cannot be considered as a ‘end of a legend’ tale, considering the rejection it was taking from the users for a while now. Arguably ‘Internet Explorer’ hasn’t lived up to it’s expectations since at least past half a decade. But 90s generation has a particular connect to it which they share with no other browser, most of them took their very first step on Internet with the Internet Explorer!

Let’s take a trip down nostalgia and see the rise and fall of Internet Explorer, with some prominent jokes on the internet regarding the browser (how can we leave that!)

The Rise

The year was 1994, Microsoft was developing an Operating software which would prove to be one of it’s most successful products, but along with the OS they were developing a Web browser to beat Netscape (The leading web browser at the time). Microsoft rehashed ‘Mosaic Spyglass’ a product they had licensed and developed into a web browser, terming the new product as ‘Internet Explorer’.

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Commonly known as ‘Internet Explorer 1’, the web browser was shipped in the ‘Internet Jumpstart Kit’ additional to Windows 95. The Browser got instant attention as it was available for free unlike its competitors (and looked like this).


Image Source : Wikimedia

Improvements and Future Versions

In the subsequent years, Microsoft came up with many versions of it’s successful Internet browser namely ‘Internet Explorer 2,3,4,5,6,,,,,’. In 1995, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 2, which was the first cross platform as it ran on Windows as well as on Macintosh, following the Javascript.


image source: Wikimedia

In 1996 Microsoft released IE3 and thus, began the slow start to a total market dominance. IE3 shed Microsoft’s Spyglass source code roots and brought support for ActiveXcontrols, Java applets, and Internet Mail. It could display GIFS and JPEGs and play MIDI sound files. And finally, IE3 was the first browser to be identified by the now famous blue ‘E’ logo.

Internet Explorer 4,5,6 were launched in later years with giant upgrades and features to unparallel success, giving shape to a new market. The market share of Internet Explorer reached a peak of 95% in these years



Image and Data Source: Wikimedia

The Decline

The Internet Explorer enjoyed worldwide dominance until top half of the first decade of 21st century. Mozilla Firefox was launched in 2004 and it started getting prominence, and later in 2008 Google launched it’s browser Chrome (the rest as they say ‘is history’).

Internet changed and evolved dramatically over the years but Internet Explorer didn’t. The versions after IE6 didn’t live up to the expected standards of the users as well as Microsoft’s.The browser would take too much time to open webpages; it would get stuck in between operations.

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The competitors ate in to IE’s market share so much that it touched a career low of 20% market share in the US as of 2015.

The errors and slow speed of Internet Explorer became the butt of jokes online since the new decade. Here are some of the prime ones to have a last mockery of the iconic browser.

Prominent jokes being

- The only time you are allowed to use Internet Explorer is when you’re downloading Chrome or Mozilla.

- Microsoft CEO will personally apologize to the last remaining Internet Explorer user.

- Internet Explorer 10 will allow you to download Google Chrome up to 5 times faster.

- That awkward moment when you accidentally click on Internet Explorer & you have to wait for it to load so you can close it again.

- Internet Explorer has to make a commercial to get people to use it even though it’s already automatically installed in every pc.

- Internet Explorer: The best browser for downloading another browser.

- Internet Explorer continues to blow me away with its speed and ease of use. – said no one, ever.

And here are some more from the web


Image Source: Sitesketch


Image Source: joyreactor



Image Source: Tumblr

The web browser didn’t go down like a hero, but it did go down with the pride of still serving one out of four internet users. To sum it all up, the little blue icon will be remembered for giving us some memories to cherish in its prime, and some jokes to giggle about in its decline.