After an arduous process of soul searching, the Microsoft family finally decided to pull the plug on ailing, long-suffering, former world wide web champion Internet Explorer. With a lifetime of health concerns and injuries, family members referred to this as an "inevitability". Internet Explorer had been in a coma after injuries suffered in a bout against another browser.
"It was time to let him go. Even from day one he had a lot of problems but we stuck by his side and wanted to see him improve. We were pulling for him. In recent years though, his condition deteriorated rapidly. He just let himself go" said Internet Explorer's brother, Word.
Other family members shared more optimistic remembrances.
"Look, we've all been through roughspots and it was no different for IE. From day one, people compared him to Navigator and that really affected him. He was called an imitator, a poser and a wannabe. Then when he finally caught his big break and was hired on to fight for Windows 95 against Navigator, everyone just screamed 'nepotism' and then came the anti-trust lawsuits and...he really took it hard." Internet Explorers older sister, Outlook, continued "I don't think he ever really recovered from that. People never gave him a chance even when he really tried to make good on his potential. It was too much to soon."
Veteran of the early days of personal computing fights, Internet Explorer's grandfather DOS, had a more scathing series of comments about his grandson.
"The boy never had his shit together. Back in my day, things weren't fancy, sure, but we did what we needed to do and we did it right. I blame those fights against Navigator." Through the late 90's, Internet Explorer had battled the previous champion Navigator in a series of historic fights. "Boy was never right after that. See, he'd been young and hungry but he was sloppy. He thought he'd be a hero if he won and instead he got blind-sided by reality. Everyone said the fix was in. That daddy had spent money to get him where he was. After that, he fell in with pop-ups and adware. Just a bunch of hangers-on he thought were his friends. I told him to get rid of them but he just couldn't do it. He'd ditch one of 'em and two more would latch on like leeches." In 2001, the Microsoft family faced a lawsuit involving Internet Explorer's fights with Navigator. The results of this lawsuit would haunt the family.
Not long after, a major blow struck Internet Explorer when the Microsoft family began recommending that Mac family members use other browsers, such as Safari.
"He took that real hard" Word said "It caught him off guard. It was right around '05. He'd already been losing ground and that really hurt him. He thought his family would have his back and...maybe we should have been there more for him but you can only do so much. I mean, he'd be getting hit with adware and started doing some bad plug-ins. It started to reflect negatively on all of us"
By the time Internet Explorer stepped into the ring against newcomers like Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox, he had lost a step. Analysts called him "past his prime" with some calling his second round of late-career fights versus the two rookies as "ill-informed", citing a lack of training throughout his career that had put Explorer at a considerable disadvantage against the younger, hungrier competitors.
"The brain damage from the early fights was severe. After seeing Chrome and Firefox, and how they carried themselves, it would have been clear to anyone that something was wrong with IE. By 2010, Chrome was dancing around IE whenever they squared off against each other. It was brutal. Haven't seen anything like that since Blu-Ray fought HD-DVD. It was massacre after massacre" said a noted tech expert. Shaking his head, he recalled the most recent fight. "Then he gets together with his new trainer camp, Windows 8, and it goes out of control, man. Out. Of. Control. IE thinks he's reliving his glory days. He holds press conferences and interviews and he's talking like he's a browser half his age. And what happens? He goes out there and gets clobbered and put in the hospital. I tell you, we all thought he was killed in the ring. Pulling the plug was just a formality."
Speaking to noted specialist, Doctor Kaspersky, the extent of Internet Explorers health issues became clear. "The patient suffered from severe lag, often while doing the simplest tasks. Years of malware build-up in his arteries left him without the agility required of a man in his profession. What's more, he was bloated with the extra weight of numerous add-ons that only served to further handicap him. His security was perforated numerous times going all the way back to his early days and he never allowed those injuries to heal, sometimes keeping them untreated through numerous versions. He should have taken his health much more seriously, especially considering the number of viruses he'd contracted over his life."
A divisive figure, Internet Explorer leaves us with memories both good and bad, a legacy both lauded and loathed. His impact on the computing landscape is undeniable, though his final public appearance was as a broken, humbled browser slurring his HTML and losing out to competitors half his age. When asked how he would want to be remembered, his family simply said "404 error. Page not found."
Shortly after the announced passing of Internet Explorer, the Microsoft family was proud to announce they were expecting the arrival of a new baby browser. Early ultrasounds have identified it as a boy and the family has already tenatively named it Project Spartan because, according to a family representative,"300 is still a thing, right?"