The Browsers Wars - A History
I have underwear older than the Internet.
I have underwear older than the Internet. But the way we interact with the Internet does have a rich if very recent history.
Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Safari
And it's amazing and exciting how fast this history is evolving. Exciting innovations to the way we tune into the World Wide Web seem to be introduced almost daily. The competition for market share among the five major contenders still left standing in the war among modern-day Web browsers are what's driving all of this innovation making the Internet a more powerful and useful means of communication, entertainment and commerce for all of us. There are dozens of Web browsers in use today - many of which I've never heard of. There are many browsers that have come and gone. But for now the five most popular Web browsers world-wide are Microsoft's InternetExplorer, Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Web browser called Chrome, the Opera Web browser and Apple's Safari. These five browsers are the current cream that have risen to the top of the still evolving war being waged to answer the question - What's the best Web browser?
The world's very first Web browser called WorldWideWeb was created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet. He was one of the scientists working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and he envisioned his invention as being nothing other than a useful way for scientists all over the world to more easily share data and otherwise communicate.
On January 23, 1993 two students from the University of Illinois named Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina released the first version of Mosaic. This became the first popular Web browser used to connect to servers around the world. In October, 1994, Marc Andreessen having formed a company called Netscape, released an updated version of Mosaic and called it Netscape Navigator. This quickly became the most popular browser world-wide and remained so until the advent of Internet Explorer. Netscape Navigator was a commercial browser but an open source version of the Netscape browser was released in 2002 and was named Mozilla and then re-named and released as the popular modern-day browser Firefox in November, 2004. FireFox is open-source software. This means that teams of hundreds of computer engineers and designers work on constantly improving Firefox on a voluntary basis.
On August 23, 1995 Microsoft released the Windows 95 operating system which included a pre-installed Web browser called Internet Explorer. By bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, microsoft gained a huge advantage. Internet Explorer usage share peaked at over 95% in 2002. Ever since then however, it has been loosing market share to its modern day competitors especially FireFox.
The first version of Opera was made available in the summer of 1996. The first beta release of Apple's Safari was in January of 2003. In September of 2008 Google released Google Chrome.