Microsoft Considered Rebranding Internet Explorer To Ultron, But The Lawyers Said No

Engineers from Microsoft’s IE platform team took part in a Reddit AmA session. Engineers present during this session were number of subject matter experts covering JavaScript, DOM, CSS, HTML, Graphics/WebGL, Touch, Performance, Developer Relations, F12 Developer Tools, Web Standards, Testing, and more.

When answering about whether Microsoft considered rebranding and changing the name of Internet Explorer due to its negative perception, IE team revealed that they briefly considered Ultron, but the lawyers said no. They even answered a question about negative perception,

Q: I’ve always had this question in mind too. The IE name has been so widely denigrated that even if they make it the best browser in the market, I think its reputation will affect the distribution and adoption of the browser very adversely.

Ans: It’s been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today.

The discussion I recall seeing was a very recent one (just a few weeks ago). Who knows what the future holds 🙂

-Jonathan Sampson

They even revealed that they are now seriously following web standards,

Q: As a developer, the “leverage the features” mindset is why I dropped IE as a serious player a long time ago. We don’t want to “leverage your features” we want you to conform to existing web standards.

Ans: This is something we’ve been actively doing for some time now. Each successive release of Internet Explorer has seen more and more adoption of existing web-standards.

Our team actively works with Google, Apple, and Mozilla (among others) on developing new standards for driving the web forward.

As an example, just about a month ago we found ourselves having a discussion about response media – after a few minutes we decided to reach out to Google for some joint-discussion.

If there are any standards you feel we’re trailing behind in support, please feel free to email me directly (josamp[at]microsoft), or reach out on twitter: @jonathansampson.

-Jonathan Sampson

They also confirmed that they are not working on IE for Android or iOS.

Ans: Right now, we’re focused on building a great mobile browser for Windows Phone and have made some great progress lately. So, no current plans for Android/iOS.

We are committed to improving our own engine. We love the fact that the web was built on multiple competing (yet interoperable) platforms and believe that this is how it is going to move forward into the future!


Read the whole AmA session here.

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