Microsoft Employees 'Suggested Internally' To Change Internet Explorer's Name Distancing It From Previous Bad Rap

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News Posted: Fri, Aug 15 2014 4:45 PM

During an "Ask Me Anything" chat session at Reddit yesterday, Internet Explorer's developers took to answering a bunch of questions from their adoring fans. Well - "adoring" might not be the best word. Judging by the thread's title, "We build Internet Explorer. I know, right?", it's almost like the developers knew that a can of worms was about to be opened.

While the Reddit thread contained its expected share of haters and trolls, a couple of great questions were asked, such as the one from user asianorange, "How you ever consider rebranding and changing the name of Internet Explorer?"

The response might strike some as a little surprising: "It's been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today."

User codecracker25 then followed-up with a question of why a name change never actually happened, given the discussions. The devs then responded, "The discussion I recall seeing was a very recent one (just a few weeks ago). Who knows what the future holds :)


Windows XP shipped with what would become the most infamous Web browser ever: IE 6

If a name change is something that Microsoft has discussed in the past, and has once again in the past month, it does lead me to believe that it's something that's fairly likely to happen. As it is today, Internet Explorer isn't a "bad" browser - a lot of work has gone into the software in recent years to make sure that's now the case. Given its momentum, it could even be a serious contender in the years ahead.

But to a lot of people, that simply doesn't matter. IE is still a laughing stock, and most well-versed Windows users wouldn't ever think of using it. It seems that most who do aren't the type to go search around for alternatives, or simply stick with it because it works for them. Why change if it works for you?

I personally think renaming the browser would be a smart thing for Microsoft to do, but it's obvious that it's a decision that can't come lightly. IE is a very integral name within the Windows brand, so to completely replace that name would be nothing short of major. It'd be almost as major as Microsoft renaming Windows itself.

What do you guys think? Should Microsoft suck-it-up and try to make people forget about the past by making Internet Explorer the best it can be? Or should it take the easy way out and rename it?

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realneil replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 8:08 PM

The only way a name change would work is if they revamped IE completely first.

Made it truly fast and secure, and ~don't~ call it Microsoft Bob.

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A better way for IE to get rid of its bad rep is to give in and get rid of its Trident Engine and instead use Blink or Webkit.

They'll benefit from open source projects that care more about modern web technologies than they have the past few years.

By doing so, they're practically on equal ground with Safar at least—assuming they ensure supporting all the features of at least Safari.

 

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Tom replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 9:29 PM

Sure changing the name will get rid of IE's bad rep... But without improving it, it will form another one. I still can't see myself ever using internet explorer again, when I enjoy Chrome so much. 

PC gaming FTW! Can't wait for The Witcher 3.

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realneil replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 9:45 PM

Tom:
I still can't see myself ever using internet explorer again

Agreed. I remember the bad old days when using IE was like being slowly pecked to death by chickens.

All of those "How did they get into my computer?" questions, all with the same answer,....."They exploited a vulnerability in internet Explorer."

I've avoided it for years and I've been happy without it.

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Ben replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 9:50 PM

Kevin, I think you struck the nail on the head. A simple name change isn't going to salvage what the software is. The stigma that permeates that browser goes all the way back to when they thought they were too big to concern themselves with standards. If they embraced a different engine it would be a HUGE step towards showing the savvy that they aren't still big M$ doing their own thing. They need to come at their software and product line with with the community in mind. At least that would get my attention...

Causing a reaction is not the same thing as saying something significant.  - Bill Watterson

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Tom replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 9:54 PM

Just out of curiosity, which web browser do you prefer RealNiel? I currently use Chrome, but have heard great things about Firefox.

PC gaming FTW! Can't wait for The Witcher 3.

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realneil replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 9:54 PM

I use Chrome and Firefox.

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Chrome IS firefox.  Well, at least its built on firefox.  When I was in college We each built our own browser.  It was simple at the time, but now I cannot remember how.  No one was trying to hack that lol.

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realneil replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 10:23 PM

CharlesBundy:

Chrome IS firefox.

OK, I use both of it.

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Tom replied on Fri, Aug 15 2014 10:27 PM

Never heard that before, and even if it is somehow related to firefox there are many significant differences between the two browsers. That in my opinion makes them separate. 

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defektiv replied on Sat, Aug 16 2014 1:26 AM

Doesn't Firefox use the Gecko engine while Chrome uses a fork of the Webkit engine? Wouldn't that make them completely different?

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I use Chrome and Maxthon. Chrome has some very good features that make it convenient to use but Maxthon has a built in VPN and I've noticed that if I'm having problems running a video with Chrome if I switch to Maxthon those problems go away, sometimes.

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realneil replied on Sat, Aug 16 2014 3:02 PM

Further IE reading HERE.

They still have work to do,............

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Tom replied on Sun, Aug 17 2014 12:18 AM

IE is like that driver disc you get with any new graphics card. It comes with it, but you throw it away because you can download something better.

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realneil replied on Sun, Aug 17 2014 2:03 PM

Tom:

IE is like that driver disc you get with any new graphics card. It comes with it, but you throw it away because you can download something better.

Yeah,.......IE "stays in the box" at my house. I have a flash drive with Firefox on it with the default page set to www.ninite.com.

I load it on a clean install of Windows and go to Ninite to D/L all of the free programs that I like. I try not to use IE at all.

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IE's awful versioning system, and lack of built in PDF/Flash support and cloud user account features makes it not even a choice in my opinion compared to Chrome.

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