Another staple of early-2000s tech has moved on to the great desktop in the sky.

Yesterday, Microsoft officially retired Internet Explorer after ~27 years.

The browser…

… reached a peak of ~95% market share in 2003, and was once at the center of a federal antitrust case against Microsoft, but usage has plummeted since. A recent report shows Internet Explorer’s market share had fallen to 0.64% in May, compared to ~65% for Google Chrome.

It joins two other discontinued tech products that have made the news this year:

  • The iPod, which was officially discontinued on May 10
  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), which sunset in 2017, but enjoyed a retrospective in May on what would have been its 25th birthday

Combined, Internet Explorer, the iPod, and AIM made up the holy trinity of tech products for those of a certain age in the early 2000s…

… and their influence lives on

While tech’s evolution made each product obsolete on its own, each has influenced products we use on a daily basis.

Internet Explorer’s flaws led to better browsers, the iPod was integrated into the iPhone, and AIM clearly influenced social messaging.



The three also represent simpler times — an era before tech was ever-present and mobile notifications flooded our consciousness.

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