Microsoft considered renaming Internet Explorer to escape its checkered past

Microsoft 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 :)”

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