Why Internet Explorer’s Death Was a Bitter Pill to Swallow for One Man

Why Internet Explorer’s Death Was a Bitter Pill to Swallow for One Man

In 2009, news broke that Microsoft had made plans to discontinue Internet Explorer 6, the software that has long been the bane of many users’ existence, due to security vulnerabilities and poor support for modern web standards. There was, however, one user who took the news particularly hard: Jung Ki-young, an employee at South Korean software company Naver Corporation.

How Mr. Ki-Young Discovered Internet Explorer

The same year Mr. Ki-Young was born, Microsoft released its first version of Windows and bundled it with its newly introduced Internet Explorer web browser. But in South Korea, as in many countries, internet adoption took some time to catch on. So when Mr. Ki-Young received his first computer at age 13 and was promptly asked by his father what he wanted to do with it, his response was: Nothing. Unaware of any other uses for computers beyond word processing and playing games (which were already well established in South Korea), he just wasn’t interested. He ended up leaving that machine untouched until 2007 when he accidentally stumbled upon how to access content online—completely by accident.

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How Mr. Ki-Young Loved Internet Explorer

We’ve all been forced to use software we hate—we call them vendor lock-ins. Ki-Young says he was forced into using Internet Explorer when Microsoft discontinued its Netscape browser back in 2001. Like any good relationship, it had good times and bad. While IE certainly wasn’t perfect, it did offer some benefits that allowed Mr. Ki-Young to do his job much more efficiently than other browsers. Even when alternatives like Firefox came along, Ki-Young stuck with IE because of its sheer ubiquity: Companies wouldn’t let him install Firefox on their machines if he used them for work. Ultimately, that became one of IE’s biggest problems: It took up so much space on users’ devices that they were slow as molasses while using other applications in tandem.

How Mr. Ki-Young Hated Internet Explorer

Mr. Ki-Young came across his first Internet Explorer in 1995, after he enrolled at Yonsei University in Seoul and began using a Sun Microsystems workstation running Windows 3.1. The new version of Microsoft’s operating system brought with it slow start-up times and long waits when opening files—and that was only if everything went smoothly. Sometimes you couldn’t even open or save simple files because of compatibility issues, Mr. Ki-Young said. Still, his affinity for all things Microsoft was born soon after, when Mr. Ki-Young won a programming contest and received an award from Bill Gates himself, who visited South Korea that year as part of his Asian tour promoting Windows 95. After witnessing firsthand how popular Windows had become in South Korea, Mr.

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How Mr. Ki-Young is Confident that Other Software Will Replace IE

Mr. Ki-Young says that he believes most websites will quickly adopt new and better web browsers, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. He adds that he does not believe it will take long for other software developers to make something that IE8 users can switch to. Some even claim that such a replacement may be ready before 2015 (when Windows XP is scheduled to retire). Though he also acknowledges there are some downsides, Mr. Ki-Young understands why Microsoft decided now was as good of time as any to eliminate its much maligned web browser, especially in light of them losing around 800 million dollars per year due in part because they failed to make their product compatible with other operating systems (namely Mac OS X). Mr.

Rest in Peace, Internet Explorer; We Knew Ye Well

The death of a tech product is not always cause for mourning. We see it all too often: Companies cease updating their popular products, leaving consumers stranded with unmaintained software that quickly becomes obsolete and full of security vulnerabilities. Still, while ending support can be an act of cruelty to customers, there are also cases where phasing out old tech can have its benefits. So what do you think: Does Microsoft owe South Korean web developer Jung Ki-young an apology? Is it fair of him to compare his loss to that felt by a friend who lost his beloved dog? Or does he have no reason to complain? Are you planning on migrating from your IE browsers anytime soon? Tell us what you think in our comments section below!

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