Microsoft is finally dumping Internet Explorer.
The much maligned web browser that won the battle with Netscape for online supremacy was consigned to history this week, USA Today reported.
Explorer will be replaced by a flashier, speedier browser codenamed Project Spartan that will run on phones, tablets and personal computers but is designed for a new era of mobile devices.
Junking the Explorer brand is part of a new game plan at Microsoft.
Chief executive Satya Nadella is trying to remake the aging technology giant as an innovator rather than a follower.
Even when it debuted, Explorer was a me-too product.
Netscape Navigator was the world’s first commercial web browser. It ignited the internet boom and transformed how people roamed the web. Even the Explorer name was derived from Navigator.
Nonetheless, bundled with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system, Explorer crushed Netscape in the 1990s.
The bundling triggered a US antitrust lawsuit, which the Justice Department settled with Microsoft.
Netscape sold itself to AOL in 1999. In 2007, AOL stopped supporting it.
Yet, despite Microsoft’s might, Explorer never managed to win the hearts and minds of consumers, who in recent years defected in droves to a new wave of sleeker browsers.
In retiring the Explorer brand, Microsoft is looking to win back consumers, especially frustrated office workers who hated sluggish browser.
“At one point Internet Explorer commanded north of an 80 percent share of the browser market, but with the explosion in mobility, that market share has dwindled to 30 percent,” S&P Capital analyst Angelo Zino told the newspaper.
“The platform isn’t cutting it on mobile devices, and that’s where the focus is today.”
Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s head of marketing, says Microsoft is looking for a new name for the Project Spartan browser, which will be released later this year with Windows 10.
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