Even in death, Internet Explorer lives on in South Korea

South Korea’s fealty to Internet Explorer, 27 years after its introduction and now into its retirement, presents a heavy dose of irony.

In south korea, one of the world’s maximum technologically superior nations, there are few limits to what may be executed readily online — except if you are the use of the incorrect net browser. On google chrome, you can not make commercial enterprise payments online as a company customer of one of the u . S . A .’s largest foreign-owned banks.

In case you are the usage of apple’s safari, you’re unable to apply for artist funding via the country wide lifestyle and arts website. And if you are a owner of a baby care facility, registering your employer with the health and welfare ministry’s internet site isn’t always possible on mozilla’s firefox.

In all of those instances, microsoft’s internet explorer, or a similar opportunity, is the desired browser. While microsoft shut down net explorer, or ie, on june 15, the agency said it might start redirecting users to its more moderen aspect browser within the coming months. The statement inspired jokes and memes commemorating the internet of yesteryear. However in south korea, ie isn’t always some online artifact.

The defunct browser remains wished for a small number of essential banking and government-related duties that many humans can’t stay with out. South korea’s fealty to net explorer, 27 years after its advent and now into its retirement, offers a heavy dose of irony: a rustic acknowledged for blazing broadband and progressive gadgets is tethered to a buggy and insecure piece of software program deserted by means of maximum of the sector lengthy in the past. Most south korean web sites work on each browser, inclusive of google chrome, which takes up approximately fifty four% of the united states of america’s net usage. Internet explorer is much less than 1%, in line with statcounter.

And but after the declaration from microsoft, there was a last-minute scramble among a few essential web sites to prepare for life after ie. The south korean arm of the british bank fashionable chartered warned corporate customers in may also that they would want to begin the use of the threshold browser in “ie mode” to get entry to its “straight2bank” net banking platform. Diverse korean authorities web sites instructed users that a few offerings could probable face disruptions in the event that they did not switch to aspect.

In may, naver, certainly one of korea’s biggest net businesses, highlighted a feature of its whale browser that permits get entry to to web sites that required internet explorer. Kim hyo, who heads naver’s whale crew, stated the corporation had at the start delivered the choice in 2016. He idea it’d now not be wanted whilst microsoft close down ie. But because the very last days approached, kim realized that a few korean websites might now not make the transfer in time, so he saved the function and modified its call to “internet explorer mode.” modernizing websites that had catered to ie for decades become “pretty a huge undertaking,” he said, and a few websites “just missed the cut-off date.”

south korea’s reliance on net explorer dates again to the 1990s while the u . S . A . Have become a forerunner in the use of the internet for banking and buying. With a view to protect on-line transactions, the authorities handed a law in 1999 requiring encrypted digital certificate for any rely that had formerly referred to as for someone’s signature. Verifying someone’s identification required additional software program that linked to the browser, known as a plug-in. The south korean authorities legal five agencies to difficulty such virtual certificates the usage of a microsoft plug-in known as activex. However the plug-in most effective worked on net explorer.

At the time, the use of a microsoft plug-in regarded like an obvious preference. Microsoft home windows software program ruled the private laptop marketplace within the nineteen nineties, and internet explorer had leveraged that position to grow to be the dominant browser. Due to the fact key korean web sites required ie, other websites commenced catering to microsoft’s browser, reinforcing its importance. Via one estimate, net explorer had ninety nine% marketplace proportion in korea among 2004 and 2009.

“we had been truly the simplest sport on the town,” said james kim, who led microsoft in south korea from 2009 to 2015. Kim, who now heads the yankee chamber of trade in seoul, south korea, stated microsoft did no longer try to thwart the competition, but lots of things “didn’t paintings” with out ie. While kim returned to south korea in 2002 after teaching abroad, he found that he could not do whatever on-line together with his pc going for walks linux, a unfastened, open-supply opportunity to home windows, and firefox. Every yr, he went to a web cafe to get right of entry to a computer with ie which will record his taxes on a central authority website.

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