World history is rife with epic power struggles, world-conquering tyrants, và heroic underdogs. The history of website browsers isn’t very different. University pioneers wrote simple software that sparked an information revolution, and battle for browser superiority and internet users.

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Before Web Era

In 1950, computers took up whole rooms and were dumber than today’s pocket calculators. But progress was swift, & by 1960 they were able to run complex programs. Governments & universities across the globe thought it would be great if the machines could talk, nurturing collaboration and scientific breakthroughs.

ARPANET was the first successful networking project and in 1969 the first message was sent from the computer science lab at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) lớn Stanford Retìm kiếm Institute (SRI), also in California.

That sparked a revolution in computer networking. New networks formed, connecting universities và research centers across the globe. But for the next 20 years, the mạng internet wasn’t accessible lớn the public. It was restricted lớn university & government researchers, students, & private corporations. There were dozens of programs that could trade information over telephone lines, but none of them were easy to use. The real open internet, & the first website browser, wasn’t created until 1990.

Web Era

British computer scientist Tyên Berners-Lee created the first web server and graphical web browser in 1990 while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Retìm kiếm, in Switzerl&. He called his new window into the internet “WorldWideWeb.” It was an easy-to-use graphical interface created for the NeXT computer. For the first time, text documents were linked together over a public network—the web as we know it.

A year later, Berners-Lee asked CERN math student Nicola Pellow khổng lồ write the Line Mode Browser, a program for basic computer terminals.

By 1993, the website exploded. Universities, governments, và private corporations all saw opportunity in the open mạng internet. Everyone needed new computer programs to access it. That year, Mosaic was created at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign by computer scientist Marc Andreessen. It was the very first popular website browser và the early ancestor of Firefox.

NCSA Mosaic ran on Windows computers, was easy khổng lồ use, and gave sầu anyone with a PC access lớn early web pages, chat rooms, và image libraries. The next year (1994), Andreessen founded Netscape & released Netscape Navigator khổng lồ the public. It was wildly successful, & the first browser for the people. It was also the first move in a new kind of war for internet users.

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The Browser Wars

By 1995, Netscape Navigator wasn’t the only way lớn get online. Computer software giant Microsoft licensed the old Mosaic code và built its own window lớn the web, Internet Explorer. The release sparked a war. Netscape and Microsoft worked feverishly to make new versions of their programs, each attempting to outbởi the other with faster, better products.

Netscape created và released JavaScript, which gave sầu websites powerful computing capabilities they never had before. (They also made the infamous tag.) Microsoft countered with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which became the standard for website page thiết kế.

Things got a little out of hand in 1997 when Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4.0. The team built a giant letter “e” và snuông xã it on the lawn of Netscape headquarters. The Netscape team promptly knocked the giant “e” over and put their own dinosaur mascot on top of it.

Then Microsoft began shipping Internet Explorer with their Windows operating system. Within 4 years, it had 75% of the market và by 1999 it had 99% of the market. The company faced antitrust litigation over the move, và Netscape decided khổng lồ open source its codebase và created the not-for-profit, which went on khổng lồ create và release Firefox in 2002. Realizing that having a browser monopoly wasn’t in the best interests of users & the open web, Firefox was created khổng lồ provide choice for web users. By 2010, Firefox và others had reduced Internet Explorer’s market giới thiệu khổng lồ 50%.

Other competitors emerged during the late ‘90s & early 2000s, including Opera, Safari, & Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer with the release of Windows 10 in 2015.


Browsing the Web Today

Today there are just a handful of ways lớn access the internet. Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari và Opera are the main competitors. di động devices have emerged during the past decade as the preferred way to access the mạng internet. Today, most internet users only use thiết bị di động browsers & applications to lớn get online. di động versions of the major browsers are available for iOS and Android devices. While these apps are very useful for specific purposes, they only provide limited access to lớn the web.

In the future, the website will likely stray further from its hypertext roots to lớn become a vast sea of interactive sầu experiences. Virtual reality has been on the horizon for decades (at least since the release of Lawnmower Man in 1992 and the Nintenbởi vì Virtual Boy in 1995), but the web may finally bring it lớn the masses. Firefox now has support for WebVR & A-Frame, which let developers quickly và easily build virtual reality websites. Most modern thiết bị di động devices tư vấn WebVR, và can easily be used as headsets with simple cardboard cases. A 3 chiều virtual reality website like the one imagined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson may be just around the corner. If that’s the case, the website browser itself may completely disappear và become a true window into lớn another world.

Whatever the future of the website holds, & Firefox will be there for users, ensuring that they have powerful tools to experience the website & all it has khổng lồ offer. The web is for everyone, và everyone should have sầu control of their online experience. That’s why we give Firefox tools to protect user privacy & we never sell user data to advertisers.