It’s been in the cards for ages, but now it’s official: Internet Explorer (IE) will be retired in June 2022.
Most people have long since moved on. And for good reason(s). But many businesses still have some legacy tools that for some silly reason loves IE more than anything else. They will now need to find a new object of their affection.
The reason why I wanted to briefly touch on it here is not for what is happening now but for what IE has meant to the world, to Microsoft – and to me.
For the world, IE was the first way many people got on the internet. Yes, you could argue there were always better, more sexy options. But the inclusion of IE in the Windows operating system effectively made it a no-brainer for consumers to use the browser. Which could again be seen by it’s market dominance for years.
Love it or hate it. There are many ways to make your mark. And IE certainly did that with millions and millions of people.
For Microsoft it also had tremendous importance – if for all the wrong reasons. It allowed the company to steam (late) into the digital era, and it was also the most important source of the anti-trust case filed by DOJ that out then CEO Bill Gates through his most excruciating interview ever (and no, he did not do well in that), and almost broke the company up.
How’s that for impact, huh?
For me personally, IE also played a pivotal role in my professional life. When I started out at MSN.dk in the autumn of 2000, our homepage was the standard homepage in IE and as such, we got a lot of traffic from it.
I honestly can’t count the number of times, I have received abuse and pointed remarks from competitors about the unfair advantage, they thought we had, and how we – in their eyes – ‘cheated’.
Of course we didn’t, and the only effect the criticism had on us was to motivate us to do even better and go and create some of the most popular content verticals on the Danish part of the internet, IRRESPECTIVE of the IE homepage.
We managed to build leading verticals within entertainment and lifestyle for both men and women with great local partners. And with that and more most certainly the most profitable display driven advertising business in the Danish media market with margins, our competitors couldn’t even dream of.
It was good times.
So for me, IE was a net positive. It helped me discover the internet, it provided an opportunity to join one of the coolest companies on the planet (which I am eternally grateful for), and it allowed our team to build a digital media business that was second-to-none in it’s time.
Rest In Peace, IE.