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Seoul (AFP) – Internet Explorer may have made his daily life painful, but a South Korean computer engineer has nevertheless decided to build a tombstone, whose photos have already gone viral, in memory of the emblematic web browser of the American giant Microsoft.
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 also said goodbye to on Wednesday after 27 years of service.
In honor of the navigator’s “death”, engineer Kiyoung Jung, 38, has installed a tombstone on the roof of a cafe in the southern city of Gyeongju, South Korea.
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” .
On the internet, images of this monument quickly spread virally, with users of the social media site Reddit having, for example, approved them tens of thousands of times.
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.
As a software engineer and web developer, Kiyoung Jung always “suffered” at work due to compatibility issues with Internet Explorer, he told AFP.
“In South Korea, he explains, 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 global browser market, according to the specialized site Kinsta.
Or sites correctly activated on other browsers, such as Safari or Chrome, could on the other hand present many problems on Explorer, continues Mr. Jung, who was then forced to many hours of additional work to ensure compatibility sites in question.
– Nostalgia and emotions –
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, Mr. 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.
Hence his idea of building a tombstone for the deceased navigator.
“People are often relieved that the machines had no soul, but we as human beings actually give them our hearts,” the engineer told AFP, quoting the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
Mr. Jung says he is happy today with the enthusiasm caused by his fake tombstone and specifies that he and his brother – owner of the café – are authorized to leave it on the roof of the building indefinitely.
“It was very exciting to make other people laugh,” he explains.
© 2022 AFP