The Endgame: Internet Explorer, Blackberry, iPod
The first half of 2022 has been cruel for the iconic tech favorites of 2000s
The year is 2008. Having just returned from the movies, you excitedly BBM your best friend about Twilight, a soon-to-be teen sleepover staple, on your precious Blackberry: It is a phone trusted by fellow Americans across the board, from suited-up corporate employees to LA "it girl" Paris Hilton to newly-elected President Obama. Your plan now is to listen to "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" on loop on your iPod over the next few weeks until the movie's prom scene fades from memory. Later, like any self-respecting emo fan, you will download the movie's posters from Internet Explorer (IE), braving its leisurely pace, to put them up in your room.
Oft-remembered by millennials, this snapshot of their youth has been rendered a relic by 2022. Within just the first half of this year, many iconic tech products of the idyllic 2000s have been laid under the daisies. The latest to join the list is IE: yesterday, i.e. June 15, 2022, the nearly three-decade-old browser was disabled for good and users will now find themselves being redirected instead to Microsoft Edge.
Launched in 1995 as an add-on package for Windows 95, IE reached its peak in 2003 with about 95 per cent user share before gradually losing its popularity to new competitors, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, between 2008 and 2012. Upon its discontinuation, many mourned the loss, some more humorously than others. "Thank you for helping us download other Web browsers," a user wrote on Twitter.
Barely a month ago, Apple, another tech giant, announced that it was ending the production of iPhone's older and wiser predecessor: the iPod. Two decades after the device's debut in 2001, iPod Touch is the only model that remains available today. Once supplies run out, the product that redefined what you carried in your pockets—even your entire music library—will be lost forever!
The first jolt of loss, though, was felt right in the beginning of the year when, in January, Blackberry announced that it was turning off support for its operating system and associated services, rendering its phones defunct save for those using Android operating systems. Named after the drupelets that compose the blackberry fruit, this smartphone grew to command a 20 per cent market share by 2009 within just seven years of being launched. By 2013, however, the company was waiting to be bought out as a result of the rise of Apple and Samsung phones.
The current year is far from being over and the remaining six months may see many more 2000s tech favourites passing the baton to newer devices after decades of faithful service. Perhaps that signals as much advancement in technology as in our grey hair! Wouldn't you millennials agree?