Microsoft is retiring its browser Internet Explorer. I know, you’re thinking Internet Explorer is the technology equivalent of a really old celebrity who you haven’t seen in years who pops up on TV, and you say “My God, he’s still alive!” But yes, Internet Explorer, that clunky, slow thing that came with every version of Windows–but that you soon forgot was there–is finally going to the Great Desktop in the Sky. I’m wondering if Netscape will be waiting to welcome it.
Personally, I wonder if perhaps the fault lay in the name. Explorer sounds intrepid, but also rather quaint, like a Victorian lepidopterist. By contrast Chrome sounds like a suave, toothsome salesman from the space age, and Firefox could be the devilish bad boy who wants to speed you down the Internet Superhighway in his tricked-out car. Microsoft’s new browser will be called Spartan: hopefully it will live up to its name and be free of heavy baggage that slows it down. Or perhaps Microsoft has called it that in the hope it will be an abtastic, shouty browser which will kick Chrome down a well.