By Anni Simpson on April 10, 2014 at 8:40pm
Microsoft finally killed support for Windows XP – now 12 years old – earlier this week. With it came fears of lost customer support for businesses that relied on it and hackers exploiting systems still running it. However, we were unprepared for the threat that is Clippy firing laser beams out of his massive eyeballs.
modern.IE, an official Microsoft website that offers virtual machines (VMs) specifically for testing code in older versions of Internet Explorer – including IE6! – released “Escape from XP” to commemorate the loss of one of one of its most famous operating systems. After all, it’s not like ME was worthy of the honor..
“Escape from XP” opens with a computer running Windows XP, which blue screens right away. The blue screen describes the heroic journey of the one man still clinging to the outdated operating system:
One man. One hero, still supporting IE6 in XP.
The game is a very short shooter that lets you control an 8-bit hero in an incredibly limited capacity; you can move forward or backward, you can jump, and you can shoot enemies with a machine gun. Your enemies include burning Recycle Bin icons, old school Explorer icons, and red-eyed Internet Explorer icons bearing shields and riding on mini tanks. The background treats you to a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Internet Explorer windows sink into a burning ground and Clippy shoots lasers at you, the wasteland, and really just everything in his sight.
All in all, the game lasts about 20 seconds or until you get bored taking 12 years of frustration out on the unforgettable OS (and quite possibly your first OS) and Internet Explorer 6 in particular.
The game is clearly not groundbreaking; it’s an in-browser shooter that takes 20 seconds. What’s memorable about it is that at least some of Microsoft’s developers understand the frustration of having an OS supported well beyond its expiration date and having to code around a browser that hated every variation of every browser on the market (including itself).
I haven’t laughed out loud at something on the Internet in a long time. Most things are mildly amusing and force me to breathe heavily out of my nose in a quiet snort. Not this. This was actually funny, and it’s worth a look.
Well done, modern.ie.