Last week, tech giant Microsoft announced that it was officially retiring the Internet Explorer web browser in favor of focusing full time on its Edge browser. Internet Explorer was one of the biggest, most widely-used web browsers in the history of the internet itself. Even after it lost its prominence to browsers like Firefox and Chrome, it still saw widespread usage elsewhere, particularly outside of the United States. Its for that particular reason that a South Korean engineer sought to memorialize this browser, though the gesture was a bit… backhanded.
South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young paid 430,000 won (approx. $330 USD) to commission a ceremonial headstone memorializing Internet Explorer, having it installed on the roof of his brother’s cafe in Gyeongju. The headstone features the browser’s signature logo, its active years, and an epitaph in English: “He was a good tool to download other browsers.”
For Jung, Internet Explorer was both a familiar face in his line of work and a constant source of headaches, hence dual nature of a memorial with a quick jab at the browser on it. As Internet Explorer was South Korea’s default browser for much longer than in the west, Jung would regularly get clients asking him to develop pages and apps that could work on it, an extremely time-consuming process due to Internet Explorer’s unoptimized nature.
For Jung Ki-young, a South Korean software engineer, Microsoft’s decision to retire its Internet Explorer web browser marked the end of a quarter-century love-hate relationship with the technology https://t.co/mg3nAHGaQG by @minubak and @HeeShin 1/5 pic.twitter.com/qF6CbVKgKa
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 17, 2022
“It was a pain in the ass, but I would call it a love-hate relationship because Explorer itself once dominated an era,” Jung told Reuters.
When Jung posted a picture of the headstone online, it went viral, with many offering similar sentiments of both fond memories and constant frustration.
“That’s another reason for me to thank the Explorer, it has now allowed me to make a world-class joke,” Jung added. “I regret that it’s gone, but won’t miss it. So its retirement, to me, is a good death.”