Once the most popular browser in the world, Internet Explorer has seen its last sunrise. As of today, if you try to open Internet Explorer, you’ll be directed to download Edge, Microsoft’s fresh new browser, which we recently heard is getting improved Xbox Cloud Gaming support. It’s the end of an era.
At the speed technology moves, the 27-year life of Internet Explorer makes it downright ancient. As I say goodbye to the first web browser I remember using at the impressionable age of nine, I’ve been looking back at what else was introduced in 1995. As it turns out, 1995 was a wild year for PC gaming and computers in general.
Here are some of the things that were born at the same time as Internet Explorer (may it rest in peace).
Hardware and software
Windows 95: Let’s start with the biggie. Windows 95 was a game changer for PC gaming and PCs in general. It introduced a number of features still present in Windows, including the Recycle Bin, taskbar, and Start menu. I could finally play NHL ’94 without having to type in MS-DOS commands.
USB: It’s tough to imagine a time when USB wasn’t the standard for plugging in your devices, but prior to the mid-’90s, keyboards and mice used PS/2 cables: awful things that broke all the time.
Palm Pilot: The first Palm Pilot came out in 1996, but we first started seeing glimpses of the device in 1995 at the height of the “personal digital assistant” craze. PDAs were smartphone precursors that were controlled with a stylus, and were probably more of a hassle than just using a pen and paper. Pens and paper weren’t new and expensive, though.
Iomega Zip drives: Before we were spoiled by 2TB external SSDs, floppy disks only held 1.44MB of data. If you had to move substantial files (for the time), you needed to get yourself an Iomega Zip drive, an external device that used custom 100MB floppies. So much data!
Star Wars: Dark Forces: There were some pretty good Star Wars games in the ’90s and Dark Forces was an FPS that introduced everyone’s favorite scoundrel turned Jedi, Kyle Katarn.
Full Throttle: This classic LucasArts adventure featuring some fun biker hijinks was one of Tim Schafer’s first games as lead designer and also one of his best.
Command & Conquer: This first-ballot PC gaming Hall of Famer was one of those that kicked off a golden age of RTS games, which were a PC gaming staple in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat: My love of mech games started here. However, my hatred of heat management also started here.
X-COM: Terror from the Deep: Underwater X-COM, what could go wrong? Turns out everything. The sequel to X-COM: UFO Defense took you to the bottom of the ocean to fight unknown horrors.
Internet Explorer fell to less than 2% usage in 2022, so it’s not a surprise that Microsoft has finally sent it to the farm. The internet wouldn’t be the same without this iconic web browser, though. Thank you, Internet Explorer, for being with us through so many arguments on GameFAQs and primitive Flash memes.