Microsoft Thought About Renaming Internet Explorer to Escape Its Bad Rep

What do you think of when you think of Internet Explorer? Unsupported error messages, crashing, grandparents, death’s sweet embrace—generally not-great things. And the people who brought you IE know that, which is why they actually considered changing its name to something—anything—else.

During today’s Reddit AMA, Microsoft’s IE platform team bravely stepped up to the plate to promote the (actually not bad!) Internet Explorer 11 and, more importantly, to take your punches fueled by years of frustration. They knew what they were getting themselves into, though, because all that IE derision actually compelled them to seriously considering choosing a new name. As Jonathan Sampson, one of the developers, explained:

[Changing the name] has 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.

And apparently, that was just a few weeks ago, and Sampson even closed with an ominous “who knows what the future holds.” So we could still see an alternately named Microsoft browser yet. Whether or not that’d be enough to shed some of IE’s hefty baggage in people’s minds is another story. Let’s just hope they don’t go with “Bing.”


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