The birth of web browsers
With the massive increase of Internet content — not to mention Internet usage — during the 1990’s, it became essential to create a software that could handily access and navigate the information superhighways of the Net. That’s why in 1991, the first web browser made its appearance. Called WorldWideWeb, it paved the way for the creation of the web browsers we see and use today.
Since then, dozens upon dozens of different web browsers, and the numerous iterations brought upon by some of them have emerged, all vying for the attention of Net users’ – along with the inevitable fame and fortune it’ll hopefully bring to the top contenders.
Here is a list of notable web browsers, compiled and arranged by the year they first debuted.
The pioneers of the industry
1991 saw the birth of the first web browser. Already mentioned above, WorldWideWeb became the pioneer of web browsers. During 1993, one of the first graphical browsers was added to the list of browsers. This was the NCSA Mosaic, and its release prompted a surge of web use.
Netscape Navigator – an offshoot of Mosaic (Netscape Navigator was created by the head of the Mosaic team from NCSA) – made its appearance in 1994. Among the list of browsers during that year, Netscape Navigator garnered the lion’s share of web usage.
Start of browser wars
Not to be outdone by Netscape, Microsoft released its web browser called Internet Explorer in 1995. This release eventually started the browser wars. Taking advantage of its lead in the OS market, Microsoft started selling Windows packaged with Internet Explorer.
To combat Microsoft’s dominance in the browser industry, Netscape created the Mozilla Foundation in 1998. This was done in the hopes of manufacturing a browser which would take advantage of the open source model.
Eventually, this project would lead to the birth of Firefox. It would take six years before the first commercial version of this browser, named Firefox 1.0, made its first appearance in the list of browsers. According to statistics collated as late as February of 2009, Firefox accounts for 21.77% share of browser usage.
The underdogs of the market
1996 saw the debut of Opera in the list of browsers. Despite it not garnering extensive use, it has remained as a powerhouse in terms of shares in the mobile phone browser industry. The video game console, Nintendo Wii, also comes embedded with Opera.