The end of an era is upon us, as Internet Explorer is finally retired after more than 26 years of service, both good and bad.
Announced last year, the official retirement of Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, comes 26 years and 10 months (9,801 days, to be exact) after its release on August 15, 1995, back when the public-facing Internet was in its infancy.
From almost the very beginning, it courted controversy. After the launch of Windows 95 (also in August 1995), Microsoft started bundling Internet Explorer with OEM versions of the operating system.
This meant that if you bought a new computer at a time when everyone was buying a new computer, you almost certainly booted it up with a copy of Microsoft’s web browser already installed and set as the default program for interacting with the Internet.
This, of course, is what got Microsoft into trouble with the US government, who lodged a successful antitrust action against the company (United States v. Microsoft) that ultimately forced Microsoft to allow OEMs to install the web browsers of their choice on the machines they shipped.
That strategy was nonetheless successful, and by the turn of the millennium, if you weren’t using some legacy intermediary like AOL, Internet Explorer was how almost everyone else entered the internet, and it was unfathomable that this could change.
Internet Explorer 6 was released in 2001 around the time of the final settlement of Microsoft’s antitrust case, and it didn’t receive a major feature updated for several critical years thereafter.
Internet Explorer was by then the dominant web browser the world over, so Microsoft probably thought it could rest on its laurels. This proved consequential for two reasons: ActiveX Controls and Mozilla Firefox.
ActiveX Controls were a feature of Internet Explorer since 1996 that allowed web pages to package executable code into HTML that would run on client-side machines (i.e., your computer) without any user intervention. While this arguably made the internet a richer experience than simple web pages could produce, it also became a security nightmare almost immediately — one that Internet Explorer could never shake off.
Then in 2004, Mozilla Firefox, one of the first major open-source projects on the internet, was released, offering tabbed web browsing, extension support and no ActiveX Control vulnerabilities. As users flocked to Firefox, and a few years later to Google Chrome, Internet Explorer offered little in the way of updates until 2007, with Internet Explorer 7, but by then it was pretty much over. Firefox, and then Chrome, would eventually come to overshadow Internet Explorer and drive down its once dominant market share to once unthinkable lows from which it never recovered.
By 2015, when Microsoft released the new Microsoft Edge browser, it was all but begging Internet Explorer customers to switch, especially those still running Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6, which were mostly businesses and institutions, despite it being riddled with unpatchable vulnerabilities in the evolving, modern Internet.
Finally, after announcing it was axing Windows XP support to get hold-outs to switch, Microsoft announced last year that it was pulling the plug on Internet Explorer as well.
That time has finally come. As of now, Internet Explorer – that once all-powerful ruler of the internet – is no longer being supported on most operating systems, with very limited extended security updates for certain enterprise services with extended support agreements Microsoft is contractually obligated to honor. But even those will be done by the end of 2023.
It’s done. It’s over. You don’t have to go to Edge, but you stay with Internet Explorer at your own risk.
Internet Explorer deserved the reputation it earned for security vulnerabilities. You could click on a URL in a Something Awful forum in the early 2000s and have your computer completely bricked, or worse, by someone who just delighted in watching the world’s computers burn.
Next to Adobe Flash, there is nothing on your computer that you should avoid more than Internet Explorer. It was unnecessarily careless with security, something that internet security professionals were screaming about into the Redmond Void before internet security professionals was even really a thing.
Microsoft had to have known better, but they pressed ahead with a web browser that literally let someone else install and run a program on your computer with just a careless click on a webpage and forced hundreds of millions of people to use it. There’s no getting around the fact that it was an atrocity of a program, and even Microsoft is glad to be rid of it.
But, for a time, Internet Explorer was all there really was, and coming from the original Walled Garden of the internet, America Online, using Internet Explorer was like moving out of my parent’s house for the first time when I went away for college.
There was an enormous amount of danger I could encounter and a whole lot of trouble that I narrowly avoided, and even fell into, because I was stupid. But it was also the best time of many of our lives, when life is full of possibilities and we thought ourselves immortal.
Internet Explorer was where many of us first found out that we could find anything, and I do mean anything, on the internet. From Ebaums World to CD-Key cracking sites to the entire wide world of emulators. Are game emulators illegal? We sure as hell didn’t care. The entirety of the Internet was open to me in all its full-but-often-disgusting glory.
There are things I did with Internet Explorer that I would blanche at if I saw someone doing it today with even a secure browser like Edge, Chrome or Safari. We were all innocents abroad on the internet back then and Internet Explorer was built for a time when the internet was truly a frontier.
That time has passed, and so too must Internet Explorer. It was the digital version of riding down I-35 in Texas with my friends in the bed of someone’s pickup truck to go to wherever underage college kids went to drink beer. I’m grateful I made it through both experiences safely. I would never do either again, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a hell of a time.
Everyone here at TechRadar has an opinion on Internet Explorer, whether it was their first browser in the 1990s or the browser that turned entire family computers into digital petri dishes for malware. I asked the team what they thought about Internet Explorer finally being retired, and for better or worse, it stirred up lot of feelings in just about everyone.
“I remember getting my internet crash course from my techie dad in the late ’90s/early 2000s and one of the earliest things I did outside of his guidance was to search for games,” said Josephine Watson, TechRadar’s deputy managing editor. “Bejewelled, Neopets, Miniclip and Runescape all became my best friends in the absence of real ones.”
As fond as that memory was though, it wasn’t all Neopets and sunshine. “SO. MANY. VIRUSES.” Watson added. “Every other site would somehow download a trojan onto my computer. Or I did. I can’t remember.”
“I can’t remember too many problems, but then again, they’d just invented the internet when I started and being able to download an image, or an MP3 at 4kb/s, was just a dream to me,” said TechRadar’s global editor in Chief, Gareth Beavis.
“I still have a fond nostalgia for the grey icons and blocky refresh button, although when I upgraded to Firefox, I felt like I was sneaking out of school and into a rebellious zone,” Beavis added.
Internet Explorer also has its defenders, like Désiré Athow, managing editor of TechRadar Pro.
“It was the rabbit hole that allowed me to explore a world that was hitherto unknown to me, learn more about the ‘information superhighway’ and hang out with friends at cybercafés where we rented out computers by the hour,” Athow said.
“Internet Explorer’s flaws shouldn’t hide the fact that it was a great springboard for newcomers to the web,” he added. “It’s a shame that Microsoft didn’t embrace it the way Google did with Chrome.”
“I was in college when the University of Illinois released NCSA Mosaic, an enormous pivot from the Archie and Veronica services available at the school library (look it up, kids!) and the Fetch app we had all been using to pirate software off the internet,” confesses Jeremy Kaplan, TechRadar’s content director. “Then my mom bought a new computer, and I convinced her she had to buy this new program called Netscape Navigator. A boxed version, for $49.99 … it was the only way to get such a large program at the time.”
“When Internet Explorer came out,” Kaplan said, “it seemed very much a me-too app. Microsoft steadily honed it, and improved it, and weirdly started coming up with ‘extensions to the Internet’ to ensure people used their browser.
“On the one hand, it made sense to just offer that app with a computer; after all, we had to buy apps before that,” Kaplan added. “But it felt weird, and really bifurcated the market. Lawsuits later, IE still felt a little tainted, a little corporate, a little me too. It had no Edge. I stayed with Netscape, picked up Chrome when Google released it, and never looked back.”
There are some indications that Moscow is struggling to govern areas in southern Ukraine that its forces occupy. The U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, said the war offered “a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil.”
Walking around my own private convention hall, marveling at my own mostly minuscule accomplishments, I thought, “I could get used to hanging out here in the Meetaverse.”
Nope, that’s not a misspelling. Meetaverse, from Allseated, is a browser-based 3D meeting platform. Meetaverse builds these bespoke 3D spaces for conferences, companies, and meetings. Or it will, after the platform launches this week. The company told me it already has a catalog of hundreds of venues that they’ve 3D scanned and rendered and 10,000 3D objects they can drop into the 3D environment.
As the name suggests, the finished Meetaverse spaces have a metaverse flavor. They are 3D, virtual environments that include avatars, activations like articles you can dive into and read, videos you can watch, and, as I saw in my own space, details about the brand. To make me feel more at home, Meetaverse filled my space with details about me: there were walls with my photos, my social media stats, and articles I’ve written.
The avatars – including mine – looked like a cross between EVE from Pixar’s WALL-E, and a 1960s TV set. The top half of each avatar is filled with a screen featuring a live video feed for each meeting participant. There were also a bunch of NPC avatars floating around just to fill up the virtually cavernous space. Off to the left of my browser screen was a more traditional foursquare live video feed of me and the three Meetaverse representatives: Chief Marketing Officer Cal Nathan, Marketing Director Nick Borelli, and Project Facilitator Manager Lauren Holley.
Unlike the metaverse, Meetaverse is designed for browsers and not VR headsets (though Meetaverse did work on Oculus-friendly versions for a while). They want it to work on any browser, but told me that, for now, the experience is best on Chrome. Watching the platform build my 3D Meetaverse space reminded me of VR 1.0 meeting rooms of the late 1990s. Still, the graphics and movements through those spaces were never this good.
While not exactly a realistic rendering of a conference hall, the Meetaverse does look good and well-laid out. There was an entry space, a welcome section, breakout rooms with semi-translucent glass walls, and a large presentation space.
First, I tried using the on-screen navigations buttons and then my mouse to move about but it was difficult to control my movements. At the Meetaverse exec’s suggestion, I switched to the arrow keys on my laptop and found movement intuitive and relatively smooth. I didn’t like, though, how after you let go of an arrow key, you kept moving a virtual step or two – the execs insisted this was by design.
Even though you can walk through solid objects (again, another conscious design decision), there’s no way of quickly teleporting from one spot in the Meetaverse to another (you can dial in and out of entire Meetaverses events or meetings, though). I wondered if, in the case of a busy Meetaverse trade show, you could hit the tab key and jump from one booth to another. Borelli insisted that will kill some of the serendipity of the system.
While my demo space was a conference hall, Holley told me the first use case is just meetings, much like the ones you might have in Zoom or Google Meet. I asked them if their approach is overkill.
“It is more on the line of experiential than other platforms you mention. Adding more experiential elements facilitates more of the oasis away from those types of atmospheres [ike static Zoom and Google Meet].” said Meetaverse’s Nick Borelli.
Okay, sure. I can see Meetaverse making a meeting more fun, but all that 3D and oddball avatars can get a little distracting.
Meetaverse can build an environment in three-to-four weeks and will charge $15 a head (with a minimum of 500 users). The per-seat price drops if you sign up for more than a year.
In the meantime, I need to find out if I can start giving tours of my own Meetaverse.
A report released by Stockholm signaled that it would likely follow Finland’s lead in vowing to apply for NATO membership. The moves come as the Group of 7’s agricultural ministers met in Germany to discuss new ways to get Ukrainian harvests to world markets.
Ookla has released its Q1 2022 internet speeds report for the United States and revealed that T-Mobile has the best mobile connectivity among all providers with Verizon being the best in broadband.
Ookla is the company behind Speedtest and they judge on three main categories: speed, latency, and consistency alongside regional and 5G performance.
T-Mobile swept all three major categories for mobile speeds and the 5G subcategories.
According to the report, T-Mobile has a download speed of 117.83 Mbps, up from 90.65 Mbps during Q4 2021. This makes T-Mobile more than twice as fast as AT&T.
For latency, T-Mobile actually tied with Verizon Wireless at 31 ms. And for its Consistency Score, T-Mobile earned a score of 88.3 percent in terms of consistent quality.
Going down the list, T-Mobile has the best performing 5G network at 191.12 Mbps download speed, the most widely available network at 65 percent coverage, and a Consistency Score of 79.9 percent.
Aiding T-Mobile’s domination is the ever-increasing hardware that supports these speeds. Ookla reveals that the fastest chipset among the popular brands is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform with a median speed of 122.68 Mbps.
It’s a chipset that powers some high-end Android phones, like the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, whose brand has the fastest speeds among cell phone companies.
For home broadband internet speeds, Verizon wins for fastest provider and latency but loses to XFINITY for consistency.
Verizon has a median download speed of 184.36 Mbps and a latency of 8 ms. For the Consistency Score, XFINITY took the top spot with 90.6 percent and Verizon came in third with 89.4 percent. Spectrum took second at 90.3 percent.
However, depending on which US region you look at, these standings change. XFINITY is the fastest in thirteen states while Verizon wins in four.
In case you’re curious, New Jersey is the state with the fastest internet speeds at 195.2 Mbps. This is followed by New York and Rhode Island with speeds of 179.32 and 173.09 Mbps, respectively. Wyoming, according to the study, has the slowest mobile broadband service.
More than half of species could face greater extinction risk by midcentury, a new study found, as rising heat and dryness test the prickly plants’ limits.
In addition to the cut, patterns are also very important for a modern and dazzling outfit, φορέματα from DKstyle. So if we are talking about printed and not monochrome pieces, there are some top designs for the season.
Classic prints such as stripes and plaid, but also more special ones such as tie-dye and chevron will have their honor. See in more detail what other patterns will make their presence felt!
A classic and favorite pattern that is not missing from any season is undoubtedly the stripes. Vertical or horizontal, thin or thick does not matter, as each of these designs gives the clothes style, but also playful mood.
With the most typical example being the catwalk of the house of Marni, but also those of Christian Siriano, Tory Burch and Schiaparelli, the stripes remain at the top this Spring / Summer.
A special version of the stripe that will be worn this Spring and Summer is that of sevron. These are the oblique – wavy stripes that create a triangular shape of type V.
We will see this particular pattern this season to completely adorn our clothes or to adorn a part of them. Typical examples we saw from the fashion houses Matty Bovan, Alice + Olivia, Missioni, Dior and Versace.
For some, plaid may be more reminiscent of Autumn and Winter, but this is not the case. It is another timeless and stylish print that we will continue to wear this season. This was also shown by the new collections of Gucci, Moschino, Acne Studios, Rochas and Coach.
But the design that stood out much more than the plaid is the gingham. This special plaid that reminds of picnic tablecloths, but also the retro season, will be a top choice. Typical examples we saw on the catwalks of Brandon Maxwell, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung and MSGM.
Flowers could not be missing from the fashion in the clothes for the Spring and Summer of 2022. But what makes a floral print special this season is the size.
So this year the big flowers will be worn much more than other years and especially the ones that have a red color. Something similar happened on the catwalks of Anna Sui, Richard Quinn, Collina Strada, Valentino, Versace and Rodarte, as well as those of Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana and Saint Laurent.
Plain or in combination with large flowers, the polka dot design returns to the top of our choices.
So regardless of the size and color of the dots, the polka print will be a must. Typical examples are those of Carolina Herrera, Balmain, Paco Rabanne, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga.
This chaotic colored pattern that has no specific shape and is reminiscent of the hippie era, but also the 90’s will continue to be an interesting choice in our clothing.
This is a special painting style that you can create yourself or find ready-made.
Famous fashion houses such as Altuzarra, Isabel Marant, Collina Strada and Loewe were some of the most prominent supporters of this pattern for the season.
Animals such as the Cheetah and the python will give way this season to the tabernacles that undoubtedly had their place of honor.
Maintaining in most cases the natural shades, this print made its presence felt on many catwalks, including those of Kenneth Ize, Salvatore Ferragamo and Missoni.
Apart from the combinations of different intense colors that will be the top choice in our outfit this season, the color blocking print that we will see in the clothes of the season is reminiscent of a marriage of different colors in the same fabric that creates a cloud or square effect.
Typical examples are those of Fendi, Loewe, Burberry, Cynthia Rowley and Chloe.
The tendency not to wear different prints in the same set has become very passive. So the combination of various patterns is a highly trendy proposal for fashion in the Spring and Summer of 2022.
So, this season, dare and create modern spring and summer outfits by matching the plaid with the stripes, the polka dot with the floral and everything else you can imagine. Typical examples from the catwalks of famous houses that prove that different prints can be worn together are those of Anna Sui, Dolce & Gabbana, Simon Miller and Moschino.