When you start to remember the dawn of things, you’re getting old. I remember the dawn of Internet Explorer and, if you’re over 25, you probably do, too. Since August 16th, 1995, IE has touched the hearts and minds of heroic internet spelunkers everywhere (sometimes, in the worst way – we’re lookin’ at you, IE6), and to this day, the browser still holds down a 60% market share to Firefox’s measly 23% (and Chrome’s 7%, if you’re wondering).
But it wasn’t always that way. Initially a mod of Spyglass Mosaic (which I seem to also recall using in the Long Long Ago, when people used terms like ‘surfing the web’, and ‘on-line’ – with the hyphen – and such terms in magazines were accompanied by little 90’s vector illustrations of guys surfing on computer mice), IE was in fact not bundled with Windows, instead offered as part of Microsoft Plus!. Version 3, a year later to the day, would see the bundling nonsense, and the rest is history. And it didn’t even have tabs. Incredible. Though the market share of IE has been on the decline for six years, it’s still in no danger of being dethroned. I sat here for five minutes trying to think of a really good analogy of something super resiliant, but the best I could come up with was ‘grass stains’.
IE is like grass stains, guys. Awesome grass stains.
Anyway, IE fans, what better way to celebrate a decade and a half of market dominance than with a new version of your preferred internet vehicle? If you answered ‘no better way’, you are all kinds of correct. On September 15th, Microsoft is getting dir-tay and releasing the first public beta of IE9 at a special event in San Francisco. So you’ll be celebrating for the next month, I guess. But at least there’ll be party favours.