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Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE),

commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and
included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems starting in 1995. It has been the
most widely used web browser since 1999, attaining a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002
and 2003 with IE5 and IE6 but steadily declining since, despite the introduction of IE7. Microsoft
spent over $100 million a year[1] in the late 1990s, with over 1,000 people working on IE by 1999.[2]
The most recent stable release is version Internet Explorer 7, which is available as a free update for
Windows XP Service Pack 2, and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or later, Windows Vista,
and Windows Server 2008. Internet Explorer 8 is under development and is slated for release in
2009. A beta version of Internet Explorer 8 is currently available for download from the Internet
Explorer website.
History
The Internet Explorer project was started in the summer of 1994 by Thomas Reardon and
subsequently led by Benjamin Slivka, leveraging source code from Spyglass, Inc. Mosaic, an early
commercial web browser with formal ties to the pioneering NCSA Mosaic browser. In late 1994,
Microsoft licensed Spyglass Mosaic for a quarterly fee plus a percentage of Microsoft's non-Windows
revenues for the software. Although bearing a name similar to NCSA Mosaic, Spyglass Mosaic had
used the NCSA Mosaic source code sparingly.[3]
Internet Explorer was first released as part of the add-on package Plus! for Windows 95 in 1995.
Later versions were available as free downloads, or in service packs, and included in the OEM service
releases of Windows 95 and later versions of Windows.
Other versions available since the late 1990s include an embedded OEM version called Internet
Explorer for Windows CE (IE CE), which is available for WinCE based platforms and currently based on
IE6. Internet Explorer for Pocket PC, later rebranded Internet Explorer Mobile for Windows Mobile was
also developed, and remain in development alongside the more advanced desktop versions.
Features
Internet Explorer has been designed to view a broad range of web pages and to provide
certain features within the operating system, including Microsoft Update. During the heyday of the
historic browser wars, Internet Explorer superseded Netscape only when it caught up technologically
to support the progressive features of the time.[5]
Standards support
• fully supports HTML 4.01, CSS Level 1, XML 1.0 and DOM Level 1, with minor implementation
gaps.
• fully supports XSLT 1.0 as well as an obsolete Microsoft dialect of XSLT often referred to as
WD-xsl, which was loosely based on the December 1998 W3C Working Draft of XSL. Support
for XSLT 2.0 lies in the future: semi-official Microsoft bloggers have indicated that
development is underway, but no dates have been announced.
• partially supports CSS Level 2 and DOM Level 2, with major implementation gaps and
conformance issues. Full conformance to the CSS 2.1 specification is on the agenda for the
final Internet Explorer 8 release.[6].
• does not support XHTML, though it can render XHTML documents authored with HTML
compatibility principles and served with a text/html MIME-type.
• does not support SVG, neither for current version 7.0, nor for upcoming 8.0 version[7].
Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended from the Mozilla
Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had 21.34% of the recorded usage
share of web browsers as of December 2008, making it the second-most popular browser in current
use worldwide, after Internet Explorer.[4]
To display web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine, which implements some current web
standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.
Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download
manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine. Functions can
be added through add-ons created by third-party developers,[5] the most popular of which include the
NoScript JavaScript disabling utility, Tab Mix Plus customizer, FoxyTunes media player control
toolbar, Adblock Plus ad blocking utility, StumbleUpon (website discovery), Foxmarks Bookmark
Synchronizer (bookmark synchronizer), DownThemAll! download enhancer, and Web Developer
toolbar.[6]
Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like
operating systems. Its current stable release is version 3.0.5, released on December 16, 2008.[7]
Firefox's source code is free software, released under a tri-license GPL/LGPL/MPL.[8]
History
Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross began working on the Firefox project as an experimental branch of
the Mozilla project. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and
developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser.[9] To combat what
they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they
intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they
planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.[10]
The Firefox project has undergone several name changes. Originally titled Phoenix, it was renamed
because of trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked
an intense response from the Firebird free database software project.[11][12][13] In response, the Mozilla
Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion
with the database software. Continuing pressure from the database server's development
community forced another change; on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox,[14]
often referred to as simply Firefox. Mozilla prefers Firefox to be abbreviated as Fx or fx, though it is
often abbreviated as FF.[15]
The Firefox project went through many versions before 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. After
a series of stability and security fixes, the Mozilla Foundation released its first major update, Firefox
version 1.5, on November 29, 2005. On October 24, 2006, Mozilla released Firefox 2. This version
includes updates to the tabbed browsing environment, the extensions manager, the GUI, and the
find, search and software update engines; a new session restore feature; inline spell checking; and
an anti-phishing feature which was implemented by Google as an extension,[16][17] and later merged
into the program itself.[18] In December 2007, Firefox Live Chat was launched. It allows users to ask
volunteers questions through a system powered by Jive Software, with guaranteed hours of operation
and the possibility of help after hours
Features
Features included with Firefox are tabbed browsing, spell checker, incremental find, live
bookmarking, an integrated download manager, keyboard shortcuts, and an integrated search
system that uses the user's desired search engine.[51]
The developers of Firefox aimed to produce a browser that "just surfs the web"[52] and delivers the
"best possible browsing experience to the widest possible set of people."[53]
Users can customize Firefox with extensions and themes. Mozilla maintains an add-on repository at
addons.mozilla.org with nearly 6500 add-ons in it as of December 2008.[5]
Firefox provides an environment for web developers in which they can use built-in tools, such as the
Error Console or the DOM Inspector, or extensions, such as Firebug.
Standards
Mozilla Firefox implements many web standards, including HTML, XML, XHTML, SVG 1.1
(partial),[54] CSS (with extensions[55]), ECMAScript (JavaScript), DOM, MathML, DTD, XSLT, XPath, and
(animated) PNG images with alpha transparency.[56] Firefox also implements standards proposals
created by the WHATWG such as client-side storage,[57][58] and canvas element.[59]
Firefox passes the Acid2 standards-compliance test from version 3.0.[60] Like all other stable browsers
as of January 2009, Firefox 3.0 does not pass the Acid3 test; it scores 71/100 and does not render the
image correctly. Firefox 3.1 scores 93/100, renders the image correctly except for using the wrong
favicon, and does not pass the performance aspect of Acid3.
HTML, an initialism of HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant markup language
for Web pages. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a
document — by denoting certain text as links, headings, paragraphs, lists, and so on — and to
supplement that text with interactive forms, embedded images, and other objects. HTML is written in
the form of tags, surrounded by angle brackets. HTML can also describe, to some degree, the
appearance and semantics of a document, and can include embedded scripting language code (such
as JavaScript) which can affect the behavior of Web browsers and other HTML processors.
Origins.In 1980, physicist Tim Berners-Lee, who was an independent contractor at CERN,
proposed and prototyped ENQUIRE, a system for CERN researchers to use and share documents. In
1989, Berners-Lee and CERN data systems engineer Robert Cailliau each submitted separate
proposals for an Internet-based hypertext system providing similar functionality. The following year,
they collaborated on a joint proposal, the WorldWideWeb (W3) project,[1] which was accepted by
CERN.
First specifications
The first publicly available description of HTML was a document called HTML Tags, first mentioned on
the Internet by Berners-Lee in late 1991.[2][3] It describes 22 elements comprising the initial, relatively
simple design of HTML. Thirteen of these elements still exist in HTML 4.[4]
Berners-Lee considered HTML to be, at the time, an application of SGML, but it was not formally
defined as such until the mid-1993 publication, by the IETF, of the first proposal for an HTML
specification: Berners-Lee and Dan Connolly's "Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)" Internet-Draft,
which included an SGML Document Type Definition to define the grammar.[5] The draft expired after
six months, but was notable for its acknowledgment of the NCSA Mosaic browser's custom tag for
embedding in-line images, reflecting the IETF's philosophy of basing standards on successful
prototypes.[6] Similarly, Dave Raggett's competing Internet-Draft, "HTML+ (Hypertext Markup
Format)", from late 1993, suggested standardizing already-implemented features like tables and fill-
out forms.[7]
After the HTML and HTML+ drafts expired in early 1994, the IETF created an HTML Working Group,
which in 1995 completed "HTML 2.0", the first HTML specification intended to be treated as a
standard against which future implementations should be based.[6] Published as Request for
Comments 1866, HTML 2.0 included ideas from the HTML and HTML+ drafts.[8] There was no "HTML
1.0"; the 2.0 designation was intended to distinguish the new edition from previous drafts.[9]
HTML markup. HTML markup consists of several key components, including elements (and
their attributes), character-based data types, and character references and entity references.
Another important component is the document type declaration, which specifies the Document Type
Definition.[citation needed] As of HTML 5, no Document Type Definition will need to be specified, and will
only determine the layout mode.[citation needed]
The Hello world program, a common computer program employed for comparing programming
languages, scripting languages, and markup languages is made of 8 lines of code in HTML, albeit line
breaks and the <!DOCTYPE> tag, or the document type declaration, are optional.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a communications protocol. Its use for retrieving
inter-linked text documents (hypertext) led to the establishment of the World Wide Web.
HTTP development was coordinated by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF), culminating in the publication of a series of Requests for Comments (RFCs), most
notably RFC 2616 (June 1999), which defines HTTP/1.1, the version of HTTP in common use. HTTP is a
request/response standard between a client and a server. A client is the end-user, the server is the
web site. The client making a HTTP request—using a web browser, spider, or other end-user tool—is
referred to as the user agent. The responding server—which stores or creates resources such as
HTML files and images—is called the origin server. In between the user agent and origin server may
be several intermediaries, such as proxies, gateways, and tunnels. HTTP is not constrained to using
TCP/IP and its supporting layers, although this is its most popular application on the Internet. Indeed
HTTP can be "implemented on top of any other protocol on the Internet, or on other networks. HTTP
only presumes a reliable transport; any protocol that provides such guarantees can be used."
Typically, an HTTP client initiates a request. It establishes a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
connection to a particular port on a host (port 80 by default; see List of TCP and UDP port numbers).
An HTTP server listening on that port waits for the client to send a request message. Upon receiving
the request, the server sends back a status line, such as "HTTP/1.1 200 OK", and a message of its
own, the body of which is perhaps the requested resource, an error message, or some other
information.
HTTP predominantly uses TCP and not UDP because much data must be sent for a webpage, and TCP
provides transmission control, presents the data in order, and provides error correction. See the
difference between TCP and UDP.
Resources to be accessed by HTTP are identified using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) (or, more
specifically, Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)) using the http: or https URI schemes.