Bye bye to IE.
Microsoft sends Internet Explorer to tech's scrapheap
SAN FRANCISCO — It's the end of the line for Internet Explorer.
The much maligned browser that battled Netscape to guide people around the World Wide Web was consigned to history this week by Microsoft, joining Palm Pilots, flip phones and Myspace as relics of a distant digital age.
A staple of the Internet for nearly two decades, the Explorer brand will be replaced by a flashier, speedier browser codenamed Project Spartan that will run on phones, tablets and personal computers but is expressly made for a new era of mobile devices.
Junking the Explorer brand is part of a new game plan at Microsoft. CEO Satya Nadella is determined to remake the aging technology giant as an innovator rather than a follower.
Even when it debuted, Explorer was a me-too product. Browser pioneer Netscape Navigator was the world's first commercial Web browser. It ignited the Internet boom and had already transformed how people roamed the Web. Even the Explorer name was derived from Navigator.
"Explorer was never a cool brand," Silicon Valley futurist Paul Saffo says. "It's like one step from AOL."
More at the link.
I wonder if they'll continue to make it available, or for how long. A lot of people depend on IE.
A big part of things is the divide between branding and the backbone.
Part of me giggles about an alternate universe story where Windows 9 exists. "Mommy! Mommy! Microsoft is contributing millions to education! See, I can count! 7,8,10!"
I've seen varying rumbles on whether the backbone is still Trident or a new engine. Also unclear is the compatibility. So if people "need IE", it's the open question of whether Spartan will run whatever.
Someone else was rumbling about whether the brand change lets them try to ditch some ancient clunker code. But back from IE6 days, sometimes apps were optimized to use that clunker code just to get the app to work.