On June 17, 2022, a tombstone of the Internet Explorer browser set by Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young is drawn on the roof of a cafe in Gyeongju, South Korea. Distribution via JungKi-Young / Reuters
Seoul: For South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, Microsoft Corp’s decision to discontinue the Internet Explorer web browser marks the end of a quarter-century of love-hate relationship with this technology.
To commemorate its demise, he spent a month and 430,000 won ($ 330) on the Explorer “e” logo and the English inscription “He was a great tool for downloading other browsers. Designed and ordered a tombstone.
After a commemorative ceremony was held at a cafe run by my brother in southern Gyeongju, photography of tombstones became a hot topic.
After 27 years of operation, Microsoft reduced its once ubiquitous support for Internet Explorer on Wednesday, focusing on the faster browser, Microsoft Edge.
According to Jung, the monument showed his complex feelings about the old software that had played a major role in his work.
“It was a pain … but I would call it a love-hate relationship because the Explorer itself once dominated the era,” he told Reuters.
He said he found it taking longer to verify that his website and online apps work better in Explorer than other browsers.
However, his customers continued to ask him to make sure his website looked good in Explorer, the default browser for Korean government agencies and many banks.
Launched in 1995, Explorer was bundled with Microsoft’s Windows operating system pre-installed on billions of computers, making it the world’s leading browser for over a decade.
However, it began to lose to Google’s Chrome in the late 2000s and became the target of countless internet memes, suggesting that some developers are slower than their rivals.
Jung said he intended to make people laugh at the tombstones, but he was still surprised at how much the joke went online.
“That’s another reason I’m grateful to Explorer, which now allows me to make world-class jokes,” he said.
“I regret it’s gone, but you won’t miss it. So for me, that retirement is a good death.”