Microsoft, At One Point, Considered Renaming Internet Explorer

Well, here’s an inside scoop if ever there was any. Web browsers are fickle business, and with the multitude of choices available, brand loyalty is not what is was back in the early days.

Then again, the problems with Internet Explorer have got more to do with brand identity than brand loyalty. Even Microsoft alluded to this not so long ago with the “Browser You Love to Hate” campaign. It now seems that Microsoft even thought about renaming Internet Explorer.

Rebranding the web browser, because of this negative perception.

From the heydays of version 3, 4 and 5, Internet Explorer took a bit of a tumble with versions 6. Even IE7 and IE8 left a lot to be desired for end users and web developers alike. Only when the application made the transition to modern web technologies with versions 10 and 11, did it far much better.

And during an AMA session on Reddit earlier today, the Internet Explorer team was asked if they ever considered branding the browser to move away from the negative associations, the team confirmed that they did, in fact, thought long and hard about this.

The answer illustrates that story:

“It’s been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today.”

This particularly long thread, it appears, was quite recent. But ultimately, the final decision was to keep the same name. Which sounds much more logical, to be fair.

Internet Explorer still has a lot of brand equity, more so in the corporate world — which is something that Microsoft can build again if they renamed it, but it would take a while. And considering just how much recent versions have improved, there is little point in it, anyway.

What do you think?

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