There was a time not too long ago when Internet Explorer was one of the most reviled pieces of software in all of Geekdom. Times have changed, though. IE has gotten a lot better in versions 9, 10, and 11… so much better that Microsoft is thinking about renaming Internet Explorer to make a clean break with the past. Some members of the Internet Explorer development team took to Reddit this week to do an AMA, and one of the more interesting threads was kicked off when user asianorange asked the team if they’d ever considered rebranding the browser and changing its name. Interestingly enough, the reply was affirmative.
Microsoft has had “passionate” discussions about renaming Internet Explorer to distance the browser from its tarnished image, according to answers from members of the developer team given in a reddit Ask Me Anything session today. In spite of significant investment in the browser—with the result that Internet Explorer 11 is really quite good—many still regard the browser with contempt, soured on it by the lengthy period of neglect that came after the release of the once-dominant version 6. Microsoft has been working to courtdevelopers and get them to give the browser a second look, but the company still faces an uphill challenge. Renaming the browser could be seen as a way of breaking from the past and distancing the new, actively maintained, standards-driven browser from this legacy. The team was asked if it had considered such a renaming, and the answer was yes. The browser developers didn’t completely rule out the possibility for the future, either, noting that the discussion was “very recent” and asking rhetorically “Who knows what the future holds :)”