(Seoul) 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 the giant’s emblematic web browser, American Microsoft.
Posted at 6:33am
Unlike many other countries, South Korea, which has one of the world’s fastest Internet networks on average, has remained oddly attached 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 quickly supplanted the first major browser in the history of the Internet, Netscape, until it represented more than 90% of the sector in the early 2000s, with 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, 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.
nostalgia and emotions
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.
Mr Jung says he’s delighted at the excitement generated by his fake tombstone today, and says he and his brother – owners of the cafe – plan to leave it on the building’s roof indefinitely.
“It was very exciting to make other people laugh,” he explains.