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There was a time not too long ago when Internet Explorer was one of the most reviled pieces of software in all of Geekdom. Times have changed, though. IE has gotten a lot better in versions 9, 10, and 11… so much better that Microsoft is thinking about renaming Internet Explorer to make a clean break with the past.
Some members of the Internet Explorer development team took to Reddit this week to do an AMA, and one of the more interesting threads was kicked off when user asianorange asked the team if they’d ever considered rebranding the browser and changing its name. Interestingly enough, the reply was affirmative.
Internet Explorer 6 remains one of the toughest boss battles in the history of computing, and for years Microsoft appeared to have little interest in supporting modern web standards in IE. Sites that functioned beautifully in Firefox, Chrome, and even Opera rendered like a Picasso painting in IE.
That’s all changed, of course. Internet Explorer 11 is fast, fluid, standards-compliant, and packed with awesome tools for Web developers. Microsoft is now fully committed to making sure that the Web “just works everywhere.” They’ve even given WebGL a boost recently by joining the OpenGL working group.
According to the Softies, “plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today.” That’s been made abundantly clear over the past year or so with the improvements rolled out to Windows 8.1 users. They got the Start Button back, a boot-to-desktop option, and easy access to shutdown options all in response to the Windows 8 blowback.
So what’s the plan? Does Microsoft have a new name picked out already? Not exactly. Mentions of Windows Internet Ubber Browser 2014 SP1 Ex+ and Ultron definitely shouldn’t be taken seriously, but don’t be totally surprised if Microsoft does eventually decide that it’s time for a change and retires the Internet Explorer name.