Microsoft Debated Rebranding Internet Explorer

In a Reddit AMA session, the Internet Explorer team revealed that it has discussed rebranding the browser. The team made its comment in response to a question regarding the negative public image that Internet Explorer earned.

It’s fair to say that Internet Explorer has improved rapidly in recent years. Its brand, however, has lagged. Microsoft has introduced advertising to combat Internet Explorer’s image issues.

Here’s the comment thread:

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A few things stand out here. First, that Microsoft discussed the idea at all is interesting, perhaps intimating that Redmond isn’t as cut off from the rest of the world as it once was thought to be. Also interesting is that the idea didn’t succeed.

I’m not surprised that it failed to launch — for so many less technologically savvy people, Internet Explorer isn’t a browser, it’s the Internet. That’s to say that lots of folks don’t get that their browser is something that they can change, any more than they realize that it isn’t called ‘the Google.’ And if you yank that particular rug out from underneath the digitally feeble, things would get sticky.

That the discussions were occurring as recently as this summer is also notable, as it implies that Microsoft — at least on some level — remains dissatisfied with the current brand position of Internet Explorer. That is not a surprise. Chrome recently passed Internet Explorer in market share, something that must have come as a loud thump — even if long anticipated — on the company’s campus.

What might have Microsoft called Internet Explorer if not that? One employee in the Reddit thread had a pretty good suggestion: “Windows Internet Ubber Browser 2014 SP1 Ex+.”

Yes please, Microsoft.