The World Wide Web: the beginning and now

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[ Logo, Netscape ]

[ Logo, Internet Explorer ]

Tim Berners-Lee & the Web cont...

It was not until 1993 that the Web would become popular to the masses. Marc Andreesen, a system designer at NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) in Illinois got ahold of the program code, and designed Mosaic, the first-ever graphical web browser. A key event in the development of the browser was the porting of the UNIX software to the Microsoft Windows operating system. Soon after, Andreesen left NCSA and co-founded Netscape, a company that was based around the development of the new web browser (Reid, XXV). Since the software had been ported to Windows, was available for free, and included a graphical user interface, general computer users from all walks of life would be able to embrace it. And embrace it they did.

The World Wide Web made up only 1% of the NSFnet traffic in late 1993 and there were only 200 http servers. However, by March of 1995 the World Wide Web was 19 percent of NSFnet traffic, and 9.5 million hosts existed. By 1996, 7.7 percent of American adults were using the Web (Lecture). Today the statistics are much higher. In May of 1999, the number estimated number for the world Internet audience (most being web surfers) was 101 million (Randall, 1999).

[ Image, Netscape Macintosh Browser ]

Since the introduction of Netscape, competitors have entered the Web browser market. The most significant of these has been Microsoft, who introduced their browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer in the mid 90's. Both browsers have been ported to almost every existing GUI operating system as well, bringing the Web to almost anyone that has a computer and an Internet connection.


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