South Korean engineer erects grave in honor of Internet Explorer

When will Internet Explorer end saddens its former users. A South Korean computer engineer decided to build a tombstone, photos of which have already gone viral, in memory of the iconic web browser from the American giant Microsoft.

"It was a good tool to download other browsers"is it inscribed on the grave Jung Ki-Young/Handout via REUTERS
“It was a good tool for downloading other browsers,” the tombstone reads Jung Ki-Young/Handout via REUTERS

In honor of the navigator’s “death”, engineer Kiyoung Jung, 38, has installed a tombstone on the roof of a cafe in the city of Gyeongju, in the south of South Korea. As a software engineer and web developer, he constantly “suffered” at work due to compatibility issues with Internet Explorer, he told AFP.

On the dark colored stele appears the famous letter “e”, which has long been enthroned on the screen of hundreds of millions of computers, accompanied by an epitaph: “It was a good tool for downloading other browsers” .

Unlike many other countries, South Korea, which has one of the fastest Internet networks in the world on average, has remained oddly tied to Internet Explorer, which Microsoft officially said goodbye to on Wednesday after 27 years of service.

Compatibility issues

After its launch in August 1995, Explorer had quickly supplanted the first major browser in the history of the Internet, Netscape, to the point of weighing more than 90% of the sector by the early 2000s. But the browser had also ended up exasperating many users, who blamed it for its slowness and recurring problems.

Except that in South Korea, it had been made mandatory for the use of banking services and online purchases until around 2014, because all these online activities required that the sites use ActiveX – an extension created by Microsoft.

And until recently, it remained the default browser for many Korean government sites, according to local press.

“In South Korea, explains Kiyoung Jung, when you work in web development, you always expect it to work well with Internet Explorer, rather than in Chrome”, the browser of the American giant Google which now monopolizes three quarters of the world market. browsers, according to the specialized site Kinsta.

However, sites working correctly on other browsers, such as Safari or Chrome, could on the other hand present many problems on Explorer, continues Kiyoung Jung, who was then forced to many hours of additional work to ensure the compatibility of the sites in question.

A certain nostalgia

Microsoft had announced in 2021 the end of Explorer, which will have known eleven successive versions, then gave in the middle of last year the date of June 15, 2022.

In practice, it will still be possible to use Explorer, but Microsoft will no longer make any updates or changes to the browser, launched in August 1995.

On the one hand, Kiyoung Jung says he is “delighted” with the announced end of Microsoft’s browser. But on the other hand, he also claims to feel nostalgia and emotion at the idea of ​​the disappearance of Explorer, of which he experienced the apogee.

“People are often relieved that machines don’t have souls, but we as human beings actually give them our hearts,” the engineer told AFP, quoting the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.

Kiyoung Jung says he is happy today with the enthusiasm aroused by his fake tombstone and specifies that he and his brother – owner of the café – plan to leave it on the roof of the building indefinitely.

“It was very exciting to make other people laugh,” he explains.

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South Korean engineer erects grave in honor of Internet Explorer

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