Have you ever stopped to wonder where it all began? Of course, you have. We all have. From the rise and fall of civilizations to the development of modern technologies, there’s always a rich history to explore.
The history of Internet Explorer is a unique one, full of highs and lows. From its days as the go-to browser in the early days of the internet to its eventual decline in favor of other browsers, take a look back at this web browsing giant’s rise and fall.
When it comes to web browsers, you might be surprised to learn that it didn’t start with what lies in ruins today, the Microsoft Internet explorer, but Internet Explorer is the one that has the greatest legacy and impact when it comes to web browsers. Relating the above two things, in this article I shall be giving you an insight into a brief history of the Internet Explorer.
The Peak and Fall of The Browser’s Popularity
Internet Explorer’s glory days came in the late 1990s when it became one of the go-to browsers for accessing the internet. At its peak, nearly every computer came with a pre-installed version of Internet Explorer and its popularity helped Microsoft dominate 80% of the market share for web browsers. Sadly, as newer and more lightweight alternatives began emerging, Internet Explorer lost steam until eventually being discontinued in 2015.
But, let’s start off at the beginning. Who is the founder of Internet Explorer? and When was Internet Explorer invented?
To begin with, Internet Explorer wasn’t the first web browser in the world. Now a short story on how it all started. In 1995, Microsoft was working on a very important project code-named “Chicago.” An extension of that project code-named “O’Hare” after Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was being developed simultaneously. Microsoft’s intent was to combine the technologies of both projects into a single product for the customers. Towards the end of these projects, Microsoft made the deal and decided to take the O’Hare technologies, and distribute them as part of a separate add-on pack to the Chicago product. Chicago, now known as Windows 95, proved to be one of the most successful operating systems to date and O’Hare, the add on now famously known as the Internet Explorer 1.0 and this is how it all began.
So, Internet Explorer (IE) is a web browser developed by Microsoft that was first released in 1995. It was initially released as a part of the Windows 95 operating system and was later bundled with every version of Windows until it was replaced by Microsoft Edge in 2015.
What was the First Internet Explorer: The Birth of Internet Explorer
What was the first Internet Explorer? Going back to the history of Internet Explorer, the first version of Internet Explorer, simply called “Microsoft Internet Explorer,” was a response to the popularity of Netscape Navigator, which was the dominant web browser at the time. Internet Explorer was designed to be more user-friendly and to offer improved support for web standards.
One of the key features of Internet Explorer 1 was its support for the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which is the standard markup language for creating web pages.
Another important feature of Internet Explorer 1 was its integration with the Windows operating system. This made it easier for users to access the internet and navigate web pages, as they didn’t have to switch between multiple programs or windows.
Despite its seamless integration with Windows 95, Internet Explorer 1.0 failed to catch on with users, who were already loyal to other browsers such as Netscape, Mosaic, Lynx, and Opera. Undeterred, Microsoft continued to improve and expand upon Internet Explorer and released version 2.0. This was the first cross-platform version of the browser, available to both Macintosh and Windows users.
Overall, the first versions of Internet Explorer were significant because they helped to establish Microsoft as a major player in the web browser market and introduced many of the features and technologies that are still in use today. They also paved the way for the development of future versions of Internet Explorer and other web browsers, which have played a crucial role in the growth and evolution of the internet.
Although Internet Explorer 1.0 integrated perfectly with Windows 95, few customers used it; most people preferred the Netscape browser or other web browsers such as Mosaic, Lynx and Opera. Microsoft remained intrepid. Microsoft made great strides over the next year with version 2.0. Internet Explorer 2.0, Microsoft’sfirst cross-platform browser, available to both Macintosh and 32-bit Windows users. In the summer of the year 1996, Microsoft released version 3.0, which was an overnight success owing to its wide variety of features, including support for video and audio multimedia, Java applets and Microsoft’s ActiveX controls. The war between The Netscape browser and IE version 3.0 raged fiercely but there was one distinguishing factor that made all the difference, Netscape charged for their browser while Microsoft gave Internet Explorer for free.
One thing that still mars the Internet explorer success is their failure to address security issues properly. Post the release of version 3.0, Month after month, one security problem after another was being steadily reported. It was after this that web browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Safari started to pop up, and they pretty much blew IE out of the water in terms of functionality and security. The new web browsers offered features like tabbed browsing and browser extensions, but it took a long time to wean people off of IE. IE was most popular in 1999, 2002, 2003 With IE5 and IE6 versions released, because of some clever marketing from Microsoft, but from then on it has been a downhill ride for the Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer has become synonymous with bugs, security problems, and outdated technology. Even as it’s improved dramatically in recent years, it continues to lose serious ground to rivals but then you can’t keep Bill Gates out of the picture for too long.
Microsoft has finally woken up, and just wants to kill the thing altogether. A fresh start makes sense. Microsoft has released the first version of its much anticipated replacement for Internet Explorer.
Called Project Spartan, it is part of Windows 10, the firm’s next generation operating system.
It promises a faster browser, along with the ability to write notes on web pages using a stylus.
The very existence of Spartan reverberates the new reality for Microsoft: it must tread the line between explaining that its devices are the best for users who need to access the growing number of online services, while also claiming that they need a seriously powerful operating system based on Windows to get serious jobs done.
Major Updates to Internet Explorer: History of Internet Explorer Timeline
Next up in the history of Internet Explorer, in 1996, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 3.0, which quickly gained popularity due to its impressive array of features, including support for video and audio multimedia, Java applets, and ActiveX controls. The history of Internet Explorer is characterized by several updates and new versions being released over the years.
The browser war between Netscape and Internet Explorer 3.0 heated up, but Microsoft had a secret weapon – they offered Internet Explorer for free, while Netscape charged for their browser. This proved to be a decisive advantage, and Internet Explorer 3.0 became a resounding success.
The history of Internet Explorer is a complex and multifaceted story that spans several decades. The first two versions of Internet Explorer were followed by a number of other versions that brought an array of Improvements:
- Internet Explorer 3, released in 1996, was the first version of the browser to support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Java applets. It also introduced support for ActiveX controls, which allowed web pages to interact with the operating system and other software installed on the user’s computer.
- Internet Explorer 4, released in 1997, introduced a number of user-friendly features, such as the ability to add and organize favorites and a customizable toolbar. It also added support for the HTTP 1.1 protocol, which improved the performance and security of web browsing.
- Internet Explorer 6, released in 2001, introduced support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the ability to view XML data as a tree structure. It also added support for the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which improved the security of web browsing by encrypting data transmitted over the internet.
- Internet Explorer 7, released in 2006, introduced support for tabbed browsing, which allowed users to open multiple web pages in a single window and easily switch between them. It also added support for RSS feeds, which allowed users to subscribe to updates from websites and receive notifications of new content.
- Internet Explorer 8, released in 2009, introduced support for hardware acceleration, which improved the performance of web pages by using the processing power of the user’s graphics card to render web content. It also added support for web standards, such as HTML 5 and CSS 3, and introduced features, such as InPrivate browsing, which allowed users to browse the web without leaving a record of their browsing history.
- Internet Explorer 9, released in 2011, further improved support for web standards, including HTML 5 and CSS 3, and added support for hardware acceleration on graphics hardware using Direct2D and DirectWrite. It also introduced a number of user-friendly features, such as the ability to pin websites to the taskbar and a new interface that streamlined the browsing experience.
- Internet Explorer 10, released in 2012, was the last version of Internet Explorer to be supported on Windows 7. It included support for ECMAScript 5.1. It also offered Improved performance and faster page loading times along with enhanced security features, including protection against phishing attacks and malware. It introduced a new “Do Not Track” feature, which allowed users to opt-out of online tracking by third parties. Internet Explorer 10 also came with enhanced support for touchscreen devices, such as tablets and smartphones.
- Internet Explorer 11, released in 2013, was the last version of Internet Explorer to be supported on Windows 8.1, as Microsoft moved to a new web browser called Microsoft Edge with the release of Windows 10. It brought enhanced integration with Windows 8.1, including support for snap mode and live tiles on the start screen and was the first version of Internet Explorer to support WebGL and Google’s protocol SPDY. It was the last release in the history of Internet Explorer.
Decline of Internet Explorer and the Rise of Other Web Browsers
As the history of Internet Explorer suggests, if you ask ‘when was the Internet Explorer popular?,’ the answer would be that it was the dominant web browser until about the early-2010s. It started facing increasing competition from other web browsers in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Despite its initial success, the history of Internet Explorer was not without controversy and criticism.
One of the main reasons for this was the rise of Google Chrome, which was first released in 2008 and quickly gained popularity due to its speed, simplicity, and support for web standards.
Firefox, a web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation, also gained popularity due to its focus on privacy and security, as well as its support for web standards and extensibility through the use of extensions.
Safari, the default web browser for Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems, also gained a significant user base due to its integration with Apple’s popular devices and its support for web standards.
There are several reasons why Internet Explorer faced declining market share and eventually lost its dominant position to these alternative web browsers. One reason was that Internet Explorer had a reputation for being slower and less reliable than its competitors. It also had a number of security vulnerabilities that were exploited by hackers, which damaged its reputation and made users hesitant to use it.
In addition, Internet Explorer was often criticized for its lack of support for web standards and its tendency to introduce proprietary features that only worked in Internet Explorer. This made it difficult for web developers to create websites that worked consistently across different browsers and led to a proliferation of browser-specific code, which was time-consuming and frustrating for developers.
As a result of these factors, Internet Explorer’s market share declined over time, and it eventually lost its dominant position to alternative web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
In 2015, Microsoft released a new web browser called Microsoft Edge as a replacement for Internet Explorer. Microsoft Edge was designed to be faster, more secure, and more standards-compliant than Internet Explorer, and it introduced a number of new features, such as a reading mode, annotation tools, and a voice-based virtual assistant called Cortana.
While Microsoft Edge has gained some users, it has not achieved the same level of market share as Internet Explorer did at its peak.
The Birth of Microsoft Edge
In the early 2010s, Microsoft recognized the need for a new web browser that could keep up with the evolving needs and expectations of users. In 2015, the company announced that it was working on a new browser called Project Spartan, which was designed to be faster, more secure, and more efficient than Internet Explorer.
Project Spartan was officially released in July 2015 under the name Microsoft Edge, and it was included as the default browser in the Windows 10 operating system.
Microsoft Edge was released as a replacement for Internet Explorer, which had become outdated and was no longer able to meet the needs of modern web users. Internet Explorer was based on the Trident rendering engine, which was relatively old and had been discontinued. Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, was based on the newer and more modern Chromium rendering engine, which is also used by Google Chrome and other popular browsers.
One of the main reasons for the development of Microsoft Edge was to provide users with a faster and more efficient web browsing experience. It was also designed to be more compatible with modern web standards and to offer a more streamlined and user-friendly interface.
Microsoft Edge featured a new user interface and a range of new features and technologies, such as support for web standards like HTML5 and CSS3, integration with Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana, and a new reading mode that made it easier to read long articles and documents on the web.
Overall, the development of Microsoft Edge was driven by the need to provide users with a modern and feature-rich web browser that was able to keep up with the evolving needs of the web.
Over the years, Microsoft Edge has undergone several updates and improvements, and it has become a popular choice for users looking for a fast and reliable web browser.
While it may not have the same level of market share as some of its competitors, Microsoft Edge has established itself as a formidable player in the web browser market, and it continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of users.
Internet Explorer vs Microsoft Edge
One of the main differences between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge is their underlying technology. Internet Explorer is based on the Trident rendering engine, which is relatively old and has been discontinued. Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, is based on the newer and more modern Chromium rendering engine, which is also used by Google Chrome and other popular browsers.
Another significant difference is the level of support that the two browsers receive. Internet Explorer is no longer actively developed. Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, is actively developed and receives regular updates with new features and improvements.
In terms of performance, Microsoft Edge generally outperforms Internet Explorer. It is faster and more efficient, thanks to its modern rendering engine and ongoing development.
In terms of security, both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge offer pretty much a similar level of protection against online threats. However, Microsoft Edge has additional features, such as tracking prevention and the ability to block potentially harmful websites, which can provide an extra layer of protection for users.
Overall, while Internet Explorer was once a popular web browser, it has since been surpassed by Microsoft Edge in terms of performance, features, and ongoing development. If you are still using Internet Explorer, it is recommended that you upgrade to Microsoft Edge or another modern browser for a better browsing experience.
The history of Internet Explorer was long and influential, lasting 27 years and being included in various versions of the Windows operating system. The history of Internet Explorer also includes its competition with other web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Despite its decline in popularity over time, Internet Explorer remains a significant part of the history of the internet and web browsers. It helped shape the modern web and paved the way for the development of more advanced and user-friendly browsers that we use today.
Internet Explorer was one of the first major web browsers and was widely used during the early days of the internet, particularly among users of the Windows operating system. Its popularity helped to drive the growth of the internet and made it accessible to a wider audience.
Internet Explorer also introduced a number of features and improvements that helped to shape the modern web browsing experience. Its support for web standards, such as HTML and CSS, enabled the creation of more visually appealing and interactive websites.
However, as mentioned earlier, Internet Explorer faced increasing competition from other web browsers in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and it eventually lost its dominant position to alternative web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
After years of enduring criticism and ridicule, Microsoft officially retired Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022. While the web browser was often the subject of jokes and complaints, it’s important to recognize the impact it had on the internet as a whole. The history of Internet Explorer is interesting to study as it reflects the evolution of the internet and the way we use it.
When Internet Explorer was first introduced in 1995, the internet was still in its infancy, and few people had even heard of it. Over the years, Internet Explorer helped to bring the internet to the masses, introducing millions of people to this revolutionary technology. While it may have had its fair share of issues, there’s no denying the role it played in shaping the modern internet as we know it today. Understanding the history of Internet Explorer can give us insight into the development of the internet and how it has shaped our world.