A brief history of the web browser
by Steve Macrie firstname.lastname@example.org
WorldWideWeb was the first web browser in the world and it was programmed by a man named Tim Berners-Lee back in 1990. We all know who Tim Berners-Lee is don't we? It was primarily intended to organize CERN's massive telephone records. But little did Tim ever imagine how the search engine would develop.
The web browser became popular once a Graphical User Interface was incorporated. Mosaic by NCSA was launched in 1993 and it was the first web browser that used a graphical interface. It's ease of use, clean presentation and connectivity to other Operating Systems made it attractive to the general public. The head of the team that developed Mosaic, Marc Andreessen, would go on to establish his own company called Netscape Communications Corporation.
In October 1994, Netscape launched the first version of its web browser called the Navigator. Seeing the power and potential of the web browser, Microsoft bought one from Spyglass Inc. and labelled it Internet Explorer. This started the competition between the two companies fighting to lead the web browser market.
Both companies continued to enhance their product, releasing new versions to the general public to attain dominance. But as the battle went on it became clear that the Internet Explorer was superior compared to the Navigator in terms of features, overall performance, and standard compliance. Additionally, Microsoft's move to bundle the browser in its operating system made Internet Explorer the most widely used web browser at that time. Netscape discontinued improving the navigator in 1998.
While Navigator was slowly losing the battle against Internet Explorer, Netscape was steadily developing another web browser which they called Mozilla. It was an open source project meaning developers are welcome to contribute their talents to the project. By 2002, the Mozilla project progressed into a powerful web browser and the first version of Mozilla was consequently launched on the same year. Another project out of Mozilla that would become successful was Mozilla Firefox which was launched also in 2002.
Other web browsers that came onto the scene focused mainly on a particular niche in the browser market. Opera, launched in 1996 is still popular today. Apple's Macintosh adopted Internet Explorer and Netscape at the start but they would eventually develop their own web browser later which they called Safari. It is now the default browser for their operating system.
Chrome from Google is a new browser. Certainly very fast and a worthy competitior to it's more established rivals.
There are now many different web browsers, all trying to outdo each other and to capture the largest share of the browser market. The ordinary PC user will surely benefit from this and their browsing experience will even get better in the days to come.
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