Microsoft considered renaming Internet Explorer to escape its checkered past

Internet Explorer logoMicrosoft 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 court developers 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 :)"

The company also confirmed that in spite of a new policy that offers new features in the regular monthly updates to the browser—which makes Internet Explorer much more similar to its competition—there will still be new major versions in the future.

This is significant because of the new support policy that will see Microsoft only support the current version of its browser on each version of Windows, when previously it supported every version that works. The release of Internet Explorer 12 (or whatever the company decides to call it) will reset that support window.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: browsers, Internet Explorer, Microsoft

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