“It was a good tool to download other browsers”


South Korean software engineer spends $330 on tombstone marking Internet Explorer’s demise

Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, is pictured on the roof of a cafe in Gyeongju, South Korea, June 17, 2022. Jung Ki-Young/Handout via REUTERS

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Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, is pictured on the roof of a cafe in Gyeongju, South Korea, June 17, 2022. Jung Ki-Young/Handout via REUTERS

For Jung Ki-young, a South Korean software engineer, Microsoft Corp’s decision to retire its Internet Explorer web browser marked the end of a quarter-century love-hate relationship with technology .

To commemorate his passing, he spent a month and 430,000 won ($330) designing and commissioning a tombstone with Explorer’s “e” logo and the English epitaph: “He was a good tool for downloading d ‘other browsers’.

After the memorial was displayed at a cafe run by his brother in the southern city of Gyeongju, a photo of the headstone went viral.

On Wednesday, Microsoft reduced support for the once-ubiquitous Internet Explorer after 27 years of use, to focus on its faster browser, Microsoft Edge.

Jung said the memorial showed his mixed feelings for the old software, which had played such a big role in his professional life.

“It was a pain in the ass, but I would call it a love-hate relationship because Explorer himself once ruled an era,” he told Reuters.

He said it took him longer to make sure his websites and online apps worked with Explorer than with other browsers.

But his clients kept asking him to make sure their websites displayed well in Explorer, which remained the default browser in South Korean government offices and many banks for years.

Launched in 1995, Explorer became the world’s leading browser for more than a decade because it was paired with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which comes pre-installed on billions of computers.

But it started losing out to Google’s Chrome in the late 2000s and became the subject of countless internet memes, with some developers suggesting it was slow compared to its rivals.

Jung said he wanted to make people laugh with the tombstone, but was still surprised how far the joke went online.

“That’s another reason for me to thank the Explorer, it’s now allowed me to pull off a world-class joke,” he said.

“I’m sorry he’s gone, but I won’t miss him. So his retirement, for me, is a good death.”

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