RIP: Gravestone in South Korea commemorates Internet Explorer

It was the end of a long and arduous era and the death of a much-discussed giant when Microsoft decided to end support for Internet Explorer. So commemorations were in order, and for Jung Ki-young, a South Korean software engineer, Microsoft’s decision to withdraw the web browser marked the end of a quarter-century love-hate relationship with the technology.

To commemorate his demise, he spent a month and 430,000 won ($330) designing and ordering a headstone with the Explorer “e” logo and the English epitaph: “It was a good resource for downloading other browsers .”

After the monument was on display at his brother’s cafe in the southern city of Gyeongju, a photo of the tombstone went viral.

Microsoft phased out support for the once-ubiquitous Internet Explorer Wednesday after a 27-year run to focus on its faster browser, Microsoft Edge.

Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, on a cafe roof in South Korea's Gyeongju, June 17, 2022. (Jung Ki-Young via AFP)

Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, on a cafe roof in South Korea's Gyeongju, June 17, 2022. (Jung Ki-Young via AFP)

Jung said the monument showed his mixed feelings for the older software, which had played such a big part in his working life.

“It was painful, but I would call it a love-hate relationship because Explorer itself once dominated an era,” he told Reuters.

He said it took him longer to get his websites and online apps to work with Explorer than with other browsers.

But his customers kept asking him to make sure their websites looked good in Explorer, which for years remained the default browser in South Korean government agencies and many banks.

Launched in 1995, Explorer became the world’s leading browser for more than a decade because it was bundled with Microsoft’s Windows operating system preinstalled on billions of computers.

Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, on a cafe roof in South Korea's Gyeongju, June 17, 2022. (Jung Ki-Young via Reuters)

Internet Explorer browser tombstone, set up by South Korean software engineer Jung Ki-young, on a cafe roof in South Korea's Gyeongju, June 17, 2022. (Jung Ki-Young via AFP)

However, it started losing out to Google’s Chrome in the late 2000s and became the subject of numerous internet memes, with some developers suggesting it was slow compared to its rivals.

Jung said he wanted to make people laugh with the tombstone, but was still surprised at how far the joke went online.

“That’s another reason for me to thank the Explorer, it has now enabled me to make a world-class joke,” he said.

“I’m sorry it’s gone, but I won’t miss it. So his retirement is a good death for me,” he added.

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