Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has a compelling life story and was a principal combatant in both major browser wars. IE won the war against Netscape but lost the second battle to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.
Although most people associate IE and the Windows operating system, Microsoft actually created browsers for the Macintosh and UNIX as well as their mobile OSes Windows CE, Windows Phone, and UNIX.
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At its peak, Internet Explorer was estimated to have over 90% of browser market share in the 2003-2004 period. Its dominance in the early 2000s was a key issue in the US Government’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Now, IE holds around 2% of the market. Microsoft Edge is also at around 2%.
Internet Explorer’s visual history is a true representation of the evolution of the internet. Take a ride.
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Internet Explorer logo history
Take a look at the history of the Internet Explorer logo’s changes over the years.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 1 (1995)
The first Internet Explorer logo was created in 1995. It featured an image of Earth and a “Microsoft Internet Explorer wordmark.”
The Earth was drawn using a calm, gray and white color palette. While the lettering for “Internet Explorer” featured dark blue with an accent of green. On the right side of the globe was the word Microsoft, which is thin and black.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 (1995)
The Microsoft visual identity was used to design the next version of the logo. It was created later in the year. The logo consisted of a wordmark on two levels and an emblem to its right.
The nameplate’s upper level featured “Microsoft”, in its elegant font, while the lower level displayed “Internet Explorer” sans-serif in extra-bold. The Microsoft four-colored emblem is enclosed in a circle.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 (1996)
1996 was the year that the Internet Explorer logo featured the iconic emblem. It is located to the right of the wordmark. It features a bold, bright blue letter E in lowercase and the orbit crossing it diagonally. This represents the “Internet”.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 (1997)
1997 is the official year that the IE icon became an official logo. The emblem’s color is now a lighter blue and its contour is slightly more refined.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (2001)
2001 sees the emblem become more three-dimensional and a deeper, gradient blue color. It is bright and vibrant, and evokes a welcoming and friendly feeling. The icon will remain with the browser for five more years.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (2004)
This was Internet Explorer 7’s original logo during the beta phase. It was changed in 2005 and can be seen on Longhorn builds 469-5259.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (2005)
After the rebranding and renaming of Microsoft IE to Windows Internet Explorer, the logo was redesigned again in 2006. The outline of the letter E became darker, and it was now black. Meanwhile, the color of the orbit changed to yellow.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (2011)
The color combination in 2011 was the same but the orbit was changed and both colors became lighter. The typeface of the “E” has been changed, making it look fresher and crisper. On Windows 7/10, and Windows 8x, the logo of 2011 can still be found.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (2012)
In 2012, another version of the logo was created. It is still in use today. It’s a flat light blue icon that looks similar to the 1997 logo, but with a more refined form and a lighter shade of blue. This icon does not contain any yellow.
Internet Explorer’s icon has not changed in many years. The main logo of Internet Explorer also has not changed. Today, the lines and contours for the iconic light blue lowercase “E”, have become clearer and cleaner. The main color has also become brighter. The Swoosh is a diagonally crossed letter. It has become thinner and the bright yellow color makes it more attractive. This gives off a feeling of energy and movement.
The icon’s white background softens and smoothens all the elements, evoking a sense professionalism and responsibility.
We hope that you found the information you needed to understand the history behind Internet Explorer and Edge logos. What do you think about the new redesign? Are you impressed by the use of multiple colors? Or is it too bold? Good luck creating your logo!
I’m a product and graphic designer with 10-years background. Writing about branding, logo creation and business.