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This month is the 15th anniversary of the release of Internet Explorer 1 and to celebrate, we’ve delivered an IE3 T-shirt one of our readers who has been waiting patiently for 14 years.
When we started this blog back in June, we anxiously awaited our first comments. Would people find the blog? Would people care? And then the first comment popped up:
It was probably a tongue-in-cheek comment, but since “kpod” had made the time to ask, it felt like we should probably send him a shirt. Unfortunately, “swag” doesn’t live long around here and the Internet Explorer team had moved buildings many times so the IE3 shirts were long gone. We were getting ready to send out a more recent Internet Explorer 8 shirt. Then one of our senior managers saw the comment. He was an intern on the team in 1996 and still knew the guy who organized the promotion. Step forward Steve Jenkins! Not only did Steve have one last IE3 Midnight Madness shirt left, he also knew exactly where it was.
T-shirt in hand, we sent Rachel Appel from our Developer and Platform Evangelism team to visit “kpod” (A.K.A Kim Podolnick) to deliver his long awaited Midnight Madness T-Shirt and to ask him about his recollection of the early days of the Internet and web browsers.
Rachel: How did you find the Exploring IE blog? What made you bring up the T-shirt?
Kim: I think the post about the IE blog appeared on the Windows Blog. Every time a new version of IE is released I remember "Midnight Madness."
Rachel: Did you think we’d take you seriously?
Rachel: This T-shirt has been a long time in coming. Why were you supposed to get the shirt?
Kim: I was one of the first 10,000 people to download IE3 after it was released at midnight on August 13th 1996. I received an email from Microsoft congratulating me and letting me know I would be getting a T-shirt.
Rachel: Back in 1996, what connection did you have? How long did the download take?
Kim: I had a dial-up connection – very slow by today’s standards. I'm not sure how long it took. I started the download and went to sleep.
Rachel: Were you looking forward to the release of IE3 or did you just download it the T-shirt encourage you to download it?
Kim: I was excited about IE3. At the time most people used Netscape Navigator to access the web. IE3 was an alternative to Netscape!
Rachel: What do you remember about IE3 – what was so cool about it at the time?
Kim: Number one, it was free – you had to pay for Netscape Navigator. Two, it was technologically advanced. [Internet Explorer 3 was the first browser to support CSS and introduced support for ActiveX controls and inline multimedia – James]
Rachel: You’re obviously a long time web user, how has the web changed in the last 15 years? What sort of things were you doing then? What are you doing now that you wish you could do then?
Kim: The web changed everything....banking, shopping, communication . Everything! I started on the internet in 1993 before browsers were popular. The first service I used was a service called "Pipeline". They had a text-only browser. When Netscape started to become popular, Pipeline developed their own browser.
Rachel: Is there anything you miss from the web at that time?
Kim: Deja News [Deja News was a newsgroup archiving service that allowed you to search through a web interface. Cutting edge at the time! – James]
Rachel: Now you finally have your Midnight Madness T-Shirt, what are you going to do with it?
Kim: I’m going to show it off! After all this time it still glows!
It was great to be able to do something to celebrate where we’ve come from. At PDC09 in November last year, we made some commitments to the developer community about our future with Internet Explorer 9:
At MIX10 in March of this year, we released our first Internet Explorer Platform Preview and committed to updating it approximately every 8 weeks. Last week we released our 4th platform preview. Each release has supported more of the same markup that developers want to use to create the next generation of web experiences: HTML5, CSS3, ECMAScript 5 and more. Each release has been faster than the one before and as a result our score on popular micro-benchmarks like WebKit’s SunSpider have improved. With each release, through Windows and modern hardware we’ve showcased the possibilities for the next generation of web experiences through our Internet Explorer Test Drive site.
The developer and web community have certainly taken notice of the work we’ve done and the commitments we’ve kept. There’s palpable excitement building for the next milestone, Internet Explorer 9 Beta. Here’s a couple of the many tweets from enthusiastic developers :
johnallsopp: Huge day for the web with today's IE update. Canvas, video, more css3. Great stuff. http://j.mp/daxVcA
pauldappleby: Just had a look at the IE9 fourth platform preview. It really is impressive stuff
Stay tuned. We’ll be sharing more about Internet Explorer 9 Beta soon!
I think I have a problem posting in here... I have posted twice the same comment and it doesn't show. May be the three (including this one) appears all toghether one day :P
@Bruno Giordano - we are doing some updates to the site right now, that is not expected behavior and things should return to normal shortly. I apologize you had issues.
@Bruno Giordano - everything should be back to normal. Let me know if you have any other issues. Thanks!
I'm looking forward to the IE9 Beta. The development pace for IE9 has been refreshing to observe.
Ha! Awesome post. I remember this contest. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college. I was back at home on slow dial-up (missing the T1 line we had at school) and trying to be one of the first 10,000 to download it. My brother accidentally picked up the phone and disconnected me. I was not happy with him. When I reconnected, Netscape refused to resume the download and just started over. I think it was a conspiracy! Ah, fun times!
@Bruno Giordano @Brandon LeBlanc Yeah I noticed around 4 AM a few days ago the home page here was completely different :P Updating eh?
Well, then what about all the stuff i have won over the years that never got to me?. A office 2007 thumbdrive, a Office 2007 t-shirt, a IE8 mousepad, etc.
What i did have is a Office 2010 yello logo/bacl t-shirt and a Bing t-shirt i won in Twitter. :P
Would sure like a IE9 t-shirt. :P
Let's see now... I just wanted to say: nice story there! :)
And yup, as AvatarX said, I would proudly wear a IE9 T-Shirt xD
Haha, I'm from China. IE did not expect about the same size with my age with my brother the same age. Cool, if I can have a commemorative T shirts for my brother as a birthday gift, it was too cool.
Please support 60% of your Windows customers and 74% of your enterprise customers by offering IE9 for Windows XP minus hardware acceleration. Vista Ultimate and Vista Home will end of life in 2012 (no extended support) leaving only Windows 7 and Vista Business as supported OSes under which IE9 can be used.
10 years on I suppose I'll be looking back on contests you guys are holding this month (while I'm in college now) too. Though it'll probably be "Damn, I never won anything from them" lol.
But yeah, very cool of you to find the guy and personally send him the t-shirt.
I have got that T-Shirt too! :-) That was in '96? It was a surprise to me MS has delivered it to me at all, to Hungary where I live. Thanks! :-)
@7flavor - just a reminder that we generally ask that comments are "on topic" on this blog. I see the loose connection in your comment - we mentioned IE9 so I left the comment up. If you have feedback you want to share that's a little off topic, you can use my e-mail address or Twitter handle. See this post : windowsteamblog.com/.../introduction-james-pratt.aspx
@7flavor Supporting XP on major upgrades is like beating a dead horse. It just doesn't seem needed anymore.
I remember that night well, too. :) stevejenkins.com/.../getting-rid-of-old-t-shirts
Cool story. And I had been a Microsoft employee for six weeks on the date of the t-shirt. Flashback.
I do have a question. I am an avid IE 8 user and I am wondering how to get an IE9 t shirt. Is there any way of doing this? I have seen them being worn on more than one Microsoft conference online. Thanks!!!
Hey don't for get about the Hartford Beta!!!!