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Microsoft invokes '90s nostalgia to tell you IE isn't '90s anymore

In a new ad, Microsoft tugs at the heartstrings of those who used to have illuminated sneakers and actually liked them.

Disks were square? Really? Microsoft; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Remember when?

When life was simple? When Tamagotchis lived for more than a day? When people talked to people? (Yes, in real life.)

That was when the only browser in town seemed to be Internet Explorer.

Times changed, though. Somehow IE became slower and older. Then it seemed to get bullied a little by cooler snipes like Google and Apple.

But there's a good side to this potentially sad story. Internet Explorer is still, in some sense, you.

And that's the feeling a new IE ad called "Child of the 90s" is attempting to incite deep beyond your rational mind. (It's accompanied by a Tumblr site called, which looks far more Gen Z than Gen Y and has to be seen to be truly absorbed.)

Here we have yo-yos, square floppy disks, and pink-haired trolls who don't leave comments on blogs.

Here we also have Pogs.

I confess to have somehow bypassed Poggery. However, I have already been inundated by females of my acquaintance who have seen this ad and been overcome with guilt about tossing away their Pogs.

One told me: "In all seriousness, this is tugging at my heartstrings."

And it's a passable attempt at doing that. Yes, IE is Gen Y.

There's one slight problem I foresee: Gen Y is a rather self-centered, self-adoring, self-deluding entity.

It thrives on believing it knows before it knows and it certainly knows better than you. Its moods change as swiftly as London's weather.

As if to prove this, one of the Poggettes sent me another e-mail: "I did give up IE, though. And I don't miss it at all. Lol. Chrome all the way."