A South Korean engineer builds a tomb for the seafarer

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.

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, appears 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.

– Compatibility issues –

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, using banking services and online shopping was mandatory until around 2014 since all these online activities required the websites to use ActiveX – an extension created by Microsoft.

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, sites that work correctly in other browsers, such as Safari or Chrome, could cause many problems in Explorer, Mr. Jung continues, who was then forced to spend many hours of additional work to ensure the websites in question were compatible.

– nostalgia and emotion –

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. But on the other hand, he also claims to feel nostalgia and emotion at the idea of ​​Explorer’s disappearance, of which he experienced the climax.

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.

Today, Mr. Jung is delighted at the excitement his fake tombstone is creating, and states 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.

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