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/ Source: NBC News
By Keith Wagstaff

Ashes to ashes, bits to bits. Internet Explorer will soon be sent to the trash bin of Internet history, to be replaced with Microsoft's "next-generation browser," Project Spartan.

Well, it's not completely dead. Internet Explorer will still come with Windows 10 for businesses and people who don't want to switch. But it won't be the go-to browser for consumers using Microsoft's new operating system, which is being released this summer.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer was born in 1995. It was a magical time. Boyz II Men were on "Bended Knee," Val Kilmer was Batman and Pizza Hut said, "Wait, why don't we put cheese inside the crust?"

The World Wide Web had been around since 1989. But the mid-'90s was when a lot of consumer-friendly products enticed ordinary people to buy a personal computer and sign on to the Internet.

Clip Art, 1993 — This is another beloved Microsoft product that recently bit the dust. Not that the company invented the idea of stock graphics. But Microsoft's Clip Art gallery, which first appeared in Word 6.0, changed middle-school book reports and PowerPoint presentations for years to come.

Microsoft Encarta, 1993 — For only $99, you could get a CD containing an entire encyclopedia packed with the world's tiniest videos. Read all about it on Wikipedia!

America Online (AOL), 1996 — AOL actually existed before 1996, but this is when it started offering unlimited access for $19.95 a month. Suddenly, we could spend all day in chat rooms arguing about whether the Death Star could destroy the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Also, it brought us the "You've Got Mail!" sound, which inspired a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Double nostalgia bonus!

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), 1997 — Oh, the hours it took us to craft our away messages. Sure, you could just write "brb homework," but then people wouldn't realized how much of a creative soul you were.

56k modems, late '90s — Back in the day, these were the Lamborghinis of the modem world. They could get you connected to the Internet faster than you could say, "Mom, hang up the phone! I'm trying to use AOL. Only you understand me, Blink-182 poster."

Y2K — Because some computers weren't programmed to distinguish 1900 from 2000, people were predicting that banking systems would collapse and planes would fall out of the sky. Instead, we all listened to Prince's "1999," there were a few computer glitches, and everything turned out OK.

Keith Wagstaff writes about technology for NBC News. He previously covered technology for TIME's Techland and wrote about politics as a staff writer at You can follow him on Twitter at @kwagstaff and reach him by email at:

This article was originally published Mar. 18, 2015 at 3:55 p.m. ET.