The original ‘darling’ of the internet, IE version 6.0 just turned 10 years old, which in computer years, puts it somewhere on the order of 300. This is a tremendous achievement in the breakneck-paced world of online access, but the fact that it still has many users – mainly in large corporate and government environments – adhering to its antiquated technology is both a testament to its enduring familiarity, and a serious detriment to the future development of the world wide web.

To be fair though, IE6 did actually give rise to the internet as we know it now. It was one of the major players in the widespread acceptance and streamlining of important technologies like CSS and Javascript, and to Microsoft’s shock, is actually almost singlehandedly responsible – through a younger technology called AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) – for the rise of what we know as Web 2.0… rich, interactive web applications and websites that allow two-way communication between the user’s machine and the web server. Believe it or not, shortly after IE6 was released, Microsoft actually eliminated the Internet Explorer development team, theorizing that its own proprietary web application framework .NET would soon eliminate the need for WWW browsers entirely. Hindsight is, as always, 20/20.

Regardless of the history lesson, we’d like to wish this classic browser a happy 10th birthday… and now that the party’s over, and the cake’s all been eaten, it’s time to put this 10 year old to bed.

Learn more about Microsoft’s campaign to dramatically improve everyone’s world wide web experience: