Life Tech Red Symons’ ode to good old Internet Explorer
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Red Symons’ ode to good old Internet Explorer

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Porn was better in the old days. Instead of an instant explosion of pixelflesh, there was a gentle unfolding of story.

Back then, the internet was so slow that the image gradually revealed itself, or herself or himself, line by line from the top of the screen.

First the treetops promising some Eastern European idyll in the brief balmy months of summer, then the first wisps of coiffeur revealed themselves, then the eye shadow, then the eyes, a shapely nose, the mouth….. by which time the family had all come home, the groceries were packed away, and, sadly, it was time to abandon the computer and pay attention to domestic duties.

• Microsoft set to abandon Internet Explorer
• Passwords you should never use — but do
• Windows 10: what we know so far

Kids have it too easy nowadays.

Apparently Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is to be retired and I shall miss it. The web is filled with mockery of IE based largely on its slowness. This is a fallacy. The last time anybody used it was when the whole world was slower and people have retained that prejudice.

Getty
The net was a nicer place with Internet Explorer, says Red Symons. Photo: Getty

I shall miss it because this was the software that first made me suspicious of internet browsers and for that I am grateful. Cookies seemed quite palatable back then. History was a proud document reflecting one’s diverse intellectual forays. Now these records are furtively deleted with the lingering fear that they will never truly go away. Our data has gone meta.

The Microsoft IE sowed the first seeds of doubt by battling the European Union in regard to the enforced and indissoluble attachment of IE to its Windows operating system. This was uncontroversial in the US, the cradle of the monopolists but the Europeans weren’t so keen on IE being welded on. They wanted the right to forget it.

Who amongst us, when hearing of this legal battle, did not think, “If I have no choice, then I have no choice but to choose something else”. For me it was Mozilla as it turned out and Startpage if I’m feeling especially furtive.

I have, ever since, used IE as a kind of early warning system. If I am examining a piece of Trial software with a view to purchase at a later date, as often as not, IE will pop up unasked to have a chat with the provider of the Trial software. Since my IE is deliberately configured not to work, I regard this neutered page as a handy indicator of conversations that might have happened behind my back.

I hate gossiping software.

Microsoft haven’t abandoned browsers altogether they have a “new” one with the working title “Project Sparta”. So I presume they’ll be leaving their baby out on the mountain for a couple of days to see if it dies.

Are they rebuilding or rebranding? Probably a bit of both.

I once met a woman who worked for Microsoft coding MS Word. Like the pyramids, it took 5000 people working for 10 years or somesuch. You wouldn’t throw all of that away would you?

Similarly their new browser will no doubt have much of the old code cobbled together with leather seats and a built in GPS.

Furthermore, in the area of rebranding, they are laughably going straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10, a bold and eye-catching move akin to putting spoilers on – doesn’t do much but looks like it does.

Ultimately one’s concerns are with the behaviour tracking that goes on with all the monolithic IT companies and their wares.

No doubt this new browser will be SFW and not desirable in the home.

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