Should Microsoft Change Internet Explorer’s Name?

Should Microsoft Change Internet Explorer’s Name?

Apparently, Microsoft recently looked at the possibility of changing its famous browser’s name. Then, after due consideration, decided to leave it as is.

This makes a lot of sense to me on both levels. Firstly, a re-branding may well help overcome Internet Explorer’s negative public image. Let’s face it, much of the negative attitude is a hang over from earlier versions and doesn’t really apply today. Releasing new versions under a different monicker would tend to distance Microsoft’s browser from the old Internet Explorer brandname.

So why drop the idea? Ironically, this also makes sense. For many less technologically savvy users, Internet Explorer isn’t a browser, it is the Internet. That’s to say, lots of folks don’t get that their browser is something that can be changed. And I suspect that the people who use Internet Explorer simply because it is just there and [for them] synonymous with the Internet, would make up a substantial portion of Internet Explorer users.

Personally, I’d welcome a name change for Internet Explorer, but it looks unlikely to eventuate.

Twitter’s 23 million Bot Accounts

Twitter raised eyebrows last month when it suggested that many of its active users aren’t actually human, now we know how many.  By Twitter’s own admission, 8.5% of its accounts are BOTS. amounting to 23 million out of a total 271 million user base.

As a report from Quartz points out, not all these automated accounts are spewing out spam. Let’s face it though, many of them would be.

The 8.5% of automated accounts have since been described by Twitter as “having automatically contacted our servers for regular updates“. A bot is a bot by any other name. <source>

I had to chuckle at one of the reader comments submitted in response to this story…”8.5% are bots and the rest are mostly just “twits

Lavabit Creator Announces New Secure Email Concept

Ladar Levison, creator of the now defunct Lavabit encrypted email provider, has emerged from the ashes with a new project called Dark Mail. The Dark Mail project is developing Dime, a set of new email protocols its creators hope will revolutionize the way the world communicates online.

Dime uses multiple layers of cryptography to protect an email’s content and metadata from beginning to end as an email is passed through the Internet from sender to recipient(s). The idea is to create an email system in which no service provider has all the information about a message, so there is no entity (such as Lavabit, for example) for federal authorities to put pressure on.

Dime’s creators hope that, if enough people begin using the service on their own, a major email service provider, such as Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, might adopt it and everything will snowball from there.<source>

Robin Williams to be Memorialized in Popular Games

Following the shock of Robin Williams’ premature passing comes news of moves to honor the popular comedian/actor by memorializing him via in-game characters. Robin Williams was not only a a very funny comedian and great actor, he was also an ardent gamer.

One such push is coming from the WoW (World of Warcraft) community to create a non-player character in Mr. Williams likeness. This seems to be pretty much confirmed as a done deal if the following Tweet from Blizzard is anything to go by… “Thank you. You gave us so much joy in our lives, and we hope you enjoyed your time in our world. We’ll see you in-game”.

Robin Williams was a great fan of the iconic Nintendo game, Legend of Zelda, so much so that he named his daughter “Zelda”. A fan based petition has been started at to name a character after the much loved actor in an upcoming Zelda game. At the time of writing this article, the petition has 80,000 signatures.

Comcast at it Again – Man Struggles to Cancel Subscription

Chicago resident Aaron Spain was kept on hold for more than three hours after calling to cancel his Comcast service. The call was placed following a month of unsuccessfully trying to get Comcast to fix his service. After going through the interminable automatic menu process, Mr. Spain was eventually transferred to the retention department, but didn’t actually get to talk to anyone because they kept him on hold for so long, the office finally closed.



8 thoughts on “Should Microsoft Change Internet Explorer’s Name?”

  1. Its negative comments such as that from Louis McClain that makes sensible comment almost impossible.
    Myself I have tried other browsers but cannot get on with them as I can IE.
    I wonder if we would still be paying for browsers if IE had not come along.

    1. John, negative comments regarding Internet Explorer are generally based on outdated notions.

      There was a time when Internet Explorer deserved the criticism. IE6 was fraught with security and compatibility issues, yet lasted 5 long years before Microsoft finally released an improved version (7).

      It wasn’t until the advent of Firefox, and more recently Chrome, that Microsoft started to take its own browser seriously.

      That shift in Microsoft’s attitude has seen massive improvements in subsequent versions and today’s Internet Explorer is, in my opinion, as good as any browser out there.

      Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to establish a poor reputation than it is to overturn one.

      Cheers… Jim

      1. Peter Thompson

        I’ve found the newer versions of IE still freeze too much for me. I prefer Chrome anyways, as its synced with my android device. I think its better than it was but suffers from the same problem Norton has, a bad image that they can’t lift. I don’t think a new name would fix this though.

  2. I’ve always called it Internet Exploder! Even modified the title bar to say so.

    I haven’t even looked at IE for ten years. I take it back. I look at all the news reports where tech advisors say not to use Internet Explorer because of horrendous vulnerabilities. At work yesterday, Budget Truck sent me four pages of warnings about Internet Explorer, the only browser that will run their software. You’d think they would buy a vowel.

    Does it work okay? From what I hear, sure. Is it good enough for me to ditch Firefox and Chrome? Not even close. I have those four pages showing me Microsoft still hasn’t got its mojo back.

    1. And if you think about it, if Microsoft called it Internet Exploder they could riff off the explosion to push innovation exploding the way we use the Internet. Just like Yankee Doodle, they could turn the negative name around to a really compelling marketing campaign. But they probably would not back that up with a true explosion of fresh ideas on what a browser can do. And the actual function of the browser determines its success. A marketing campaign can help, but it can’t gild a turkey. Not for long at least.

      1. Steve, back in March this year, in the most recent “PWN2OWN” competition, Firefox actually fared worse than Internet Explorer, and Chrome was also shown to be far from immune.

        It’s very similar to the Windows vs Linux situation, where market share pretty much dictates the most valuable and favored targets.

        That said, with a lack of clear defining criteria, it’s not easy to get a handle on which browser is the most secure – check out this article here:

        Cheers.. Jim

  3. I’ve been a loyal fan of both IE and Firefox. Both have features (addons) which make my daily (most times) Internet access manageable. As far as changing names, really? Are we supposed to forget what happened – o – wait a second. New users don’t know, don’t care about the past. Like you said Jim, M$ has sort of cleaned up their act, and thanks to their competition, Mindblower!

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