Why does a country remain known for its high speed internet and innovative hardware coupled with a browser that abandoned most of the world long ago?
A question raised by writers Daisuke Wakabayashi and Jin Yu Young in a report by the American newspaper “New York Times”.
The authors said that although South Korea is considered one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, there are some restrictions on what can be done easily online, which can be solved by using an old and outdated web browser like Explorer use.
The authors explained, for example, that in the “Google Chrome” browser you can not make online commercial payments as a customer of one of the largest banks, and if you use the “Safari” browser of Apple (Apple), you will not be able to apply Apply for funding through the National Arts and Culture website.
The authors go on to say that if you are the owner of a childcare facility, registering your institution on the Ministry of Health and Social Care website is not possible through Mozilla’s Firefox browser; In all these cases, the solution is to use the “Explorer” browser.
The authors pointed out that when Microsoft stopped the Explorer browser on June 15, it said it would start redirecting users to the latest Edge browser in the coming months; The sarcastic comments erupted in South Korea; The disbanded Explorer is still needed for a number of important banking and government-related tasks without which not many people can live.
The authors felt that South Korea’s loyalty to the “Explorer” program, 27 years after its launch, was ironic, comparing a country known for the latest technologies and innovative devices and their use of this browser which has left most of the world for a long time. time ago, to modern cart cars.
The authors pointed out that most sites in South Korea operate on all browsers, including “Google Chrome”, which accounts for about 54% of the Internet usage in the country, while the Explorer browser accounts for less than 1%, according to the ” Statcounter “website …
Egter; After Microsoft’s announcement, there was a last minute scramble between some key sites to get ready for life after Explorer.
The authors reported that the South Korean branch of Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank warned corporate clients in May that they would have to start using the Edge browser in “Explorer mode” to access the online banking platform. Korean government websites telling users some services are likely to experience disruptions if they do not switch to EDGE.
But in recent days, some Korean sites have realized that they would not make the switch in time, so they retained the feature and changed its name to “Scout Mode”.
The authors say that South Korea’s dependence on “Explorer” dates back to the 1990s, when the country became a pioneer in the use of the Internet for banking and shopping, noting that the government approved a law in 1999. which is encrypted to protect online transactions. digital certificates for any matter pre-signed.
The authors point out that verifying a person’s identity requires additional software linked to the browser, known as a plug-in; The South Korean government allows 5 companies to issue such digital certificates with a Microsoft plugin called Active x, but the plugin only works on Explorer.
According to the authors, a Microsoft plug-in at that time began to be used as an obvious choice, and Microsoft Windows software ruled the computer market in the 1990s, and Explorer took advantage of this situation to become the dominant browser.
Since major Korean sites require Explorer, other sites have begun to cater to Microsoft’s browser, which reinforces its importance; Explorer had a 99% market share in South Korea between 2004 and 2009.
According to the authors, with the advent of smartphones, built on software from Apple and Google, South Korea, like many of the world, began to reduce its dependence on Microsoft.
In 2010, the country issued guidelines that government websites should be compatible with 3 different web browsers, but changing the internet in South Korea was not easy, especially since banks and credit card companies kept to the existing system.
As public opinion shifted, users became concerned about the need to use ActiveX to buy things online; Critics have argued that the technology did not achieve its goal because the additional software made users less secure.
The authors said that Microsoft introduced the “Edge” browser in 2015 as an alternative to the “Explorer” browser, and the company said that it does not support “ActiveX” in the new browser, and Chrome has the became best browser in the country 3 years ago, and in 2020, South Korea amended the 1999 law to remove the need for digital certificates, a move that apparently closed the door on ActiveX and Explorer.
The authors concluded their report by saying that while many people around the world made jokes about the downfall of “Explorer”, a South Korean engineer celebrated the occasion in an even gloomier way. His older brother’s rooftop cafe in Jeonju, a city on the southeast coast of South Korea, paid $ 330 for the memorial, which was engraved with the browser’s signature “e” logo and the words “It was a great tool for others to download browsers. “
According to the authors, Mr. Jeong said he has some frustrations with Explorer, but feels that the browser that so many South Koreans have brought to the web deserves a proper farewell. “It was difficult and frustrating to use Explorer, but it also served a good purpose,” he said. said.