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Web

Browser
Timeline
Dozens of innovative web browsers have been created by various people and
teams over the years.
The first widely used web browser was NCSA Mosaic. The Mosaic
programming team then created the first commercial web browser called
Netscape Navigator, later renamed Communicator, then renamed back to
just Netscape. The Netscape browser led in user share until Microsoft
Internet Explorer took the lead in 1999 due to its distribution advantage.
A free open source software version of Netscape was then developed called
Mozilla, which was the internal name for the old Netscape browser, and
released in 2002. Mozilla has since gained in market share, particularly on
non-Windows platforms, largely due to its open source foundation, and in
2004 was released in the quickly popular FireFox version.

WorldWideWeb. Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first web browser on a


NeXT computer, called WorldWideWeb, finishing the first version on
Christmas day, 1990. He released the program to a number of people
at CERN in March, 1991, introducing the web to the high energy
physics community, and beginning its spread.

libwww. Berners-Lee and a student at CERN named Jean-Francois


Groff ported the WorldWideWeb application from the NeXT
environment to the more common C language in 1991 and 1992,

calling the new browser libwww. Groff later started the first web design
company, InfoDesign.ch.

Line-mode. Nicola Pellow, a math student interning at CERN, wrote a


line-mode web browser that would work on any device, even a
teletype. In 1991, Nicola and the team ported the browser to a range
of computers, from Unix to Microsoft DOS, so that anyone could access
the web, at that point consisting primarily of the CERN phone book.

Erwise. After a visit from Robert Cailliau, a group of students at


Helsinki University of Technology joined together to write a web
browser as a master's project. Since the acronym for their department
was called "OTH", they called the browser "erwise", as a joke on the
word "otherwise". The final version was released in April, 1992, and
included several advanced features, but wasn't developed further after
the students graduated and went on to other jobs.

ViolaWWW. Pei Wei, a student at the University of California at


Berkeley, released the second browser for Unix, called ViolaWWW, in
May, 1992. This browser was built on the powerful interpretive
language called Viola that Wei had developed for Unix computers.
ViolaWWW had a range of advanced features, including the ability to
display graphics and download applets.

Midas. During the summer of 1992, Tony Johnson at SLACdeveloped a


third browser for Unix systems, called Midas, to help distribute
information to colleagues about his physics research.

Samba. Robert Cailliau started development of the first web browser


for the Macintosh, called Samba. Development was picked up by Nicola

Mosaic. Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina from the NCSAreleased the
first version of Mosaic for X-Windows on Unix computers in February,
1993. A version for the Macintosh was developed by Aleks Totic and
released a few months later, making Mosaic the first browser with
cross-platform support. Mosaic introduced support for sound, video
clips, forms support, bookmarks, and history files, and quickly became
the most popular non-commercial web browser. In August, 1994,
NCSA assigned commercial rights to Mosaic to Spyglass, Inc., which
subsequently licensed the technology to several other companies,
including Microsoft for use in Internet Explorer. The NCSA stopped
developing Mosaic in January 1997.

Arena. In 1993, Dave Raggett at Hewlett-Packard in Bristol, England,


developed a browser called Arena, with powerful features for
positioning tables and graphics.

Opera. In 1994, the Opera browser was developed by a team of


researchers at a telecommunication company called Telenor in Oslo,
Norway. The following year, two members of the team -- Jon
Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsy -- left Telenor to establish
Opera Software to develop the browser commercially. Opera 2.1 was
first made available on the Internet in the summer of 1996.

Internet in a box. In January, 1994, O'Reilly and Associates


announced a product called Internet In A Box which collected all of the
software needed to access the web together, so that you only had to
install one application, instead of downloading and installing several
programs. While not a unique browser in its own right, this product
was a breakthrough because it distributed other browsers and made
the web a lot more accessible to the home user.

Mozilla Firefox. In October, 1994, Netscape released the the first


beta version of their browser, Mozilla 0.96b, over the Internet. On
December 15, the final version was released, Mozilla 1.0, making it the
first commercial web browser. An open source version of the Netscape
browser was released in 2002 was also named Mozilla in tribute to this
early version, and then released as the quickly popular FireFox in
November, 2004.

Internet Explorer. On August 23rd, 1995, Microsoft released their


Windows 95 operating system, including a Web browser called Internet
Explorer. By the fall of 1996, Explorer had a third of market share, and
passed Netscape to became the leading web browser in 1999.

Google Chrome. It is a freeware web browser developed by search


engine company Google, Inc. It is widely considered as the worlds
most popular and convenient browser nowadays.