Internet Explorer may have made his daily life painful, but a South Korean computer engineer has nevertheless decided to build a tombstone, photos of which have already gone viral, in memory of American giant Microsoft’s emblematic web browser.
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Unlike many other countries, South Korea, which has one of the world’s fastest Internet networks on average, has remained oddly tied to Internet Explorer, which Microsoft officially said goodbye to on Wednesday after 27 years of service.
In honor of the navigator’s “death,” engineer Kiyoung Jung, 38, has installed a tombstone on the roof of a cafe in the South Korean city of Gyeongju.
The famous letter “e”, which has long graced the screens of hundreds of millions of computers, is emblazoned on the dark-colored stele, accompanied by an epitaph: “It was a good tool for downloading other browsers”.
Images of this monument quickly went viral on the Internet, with users of the social media site Reddit, for example, approving them tens of thousands of times.
After its launch in August 1995, Explorer had quickly supplanted the first major browser in the history of the Internet, Netscape, until it accounted for more than 90% of the sector in the early 2000s, but the browser also ended up angering many users who blamed it for its slowness and recurring problems.
Except that in South Korea, the use of banking services and online shopping was mandatory until about 2014, since all these online activities required the use of ActiveX – an extension created by Microsoft – on the websites.
And until recently, it remained the default browser for many Korean government sites, according to local press.
A software engineer and web developer, Kiyoung Jung “constantly suffered” from Internet Explorer compatibility issues at work, he told AFP.
“In South Korea, he explains, when you work in web development, you’re always expected to work well with Internet Explorer, not Chrome,” the browser from American giant Google, which now monopolizes three-quarters of the global browser market. according to the specialized website Kinsta.
However, pages that work correctly on other browsers such as Safari or Chrome could cause many problems in Explorer on the other hand, Mr. Jung continues, who was then forced to spend many hours of additional work to ensure the compatibility of the pages in question.
Microsoft had announced the end of Explorer in 2021, which is said to have known eleven consecutive versions, then gave June 15, 2022 as the date in the middle of last year.
In practice, it will still be possible to use Explorer, but Microsoft will no longer make any updates or changes to the browser introduced in August 1995.
On the one hand, Mr. Jung says he is “delighted” about the announced end of Microsoft’s browser. On the other hand, he also claims to feel nostalgia and emotion at the idea of Explorer’s disappearance, the climax of which he witnessed.
Hence his idea of erecting a tombstone for the deceased seafarer.
“People are often relieved that machines don’t have souls, but we as humans actually give them our hearts,” the engineer told AFP, citing Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
Mr. Jung says he is happy today with the excitement generated by his fake tombstone and specifies that he and his brother – owners of the cafe – plan to keep it on the roof of the building indefinitely.
“It was very exciting to make other people laugh,” he explains.