Browser Wars

Green for Netscape, Blue for Internet Explorer.

Data obtained from the New York Times.

        It's only been a few years since graphical browsing of the Internet began. I remember the old days of text interfaces and imagination. For several years before I started 'net surfing' I used to play around at various BBS's (Bulletin Board Systems). They were great depositories for software and most had email capabilities and chat rooms. They were fairly isolated in that they weren't connected to a massive network worldwide or even across the country. It was simple and fun with very little garbage and trash. About the time I left the BBS's, colorful graphics were getting fairly popular and RIP graphics was moving in. I began surfing with Lynx when I first entered college. I was very impressed with the ability to go anywhere in the world. I didn't mind the lack of graphics because the speed more than made up for it. Eventually I gave in to peer pressure and set up Netscape 1.0 Beta on my machine. Then my net-surfing took on a whole new dimension. Pictures and text were slow but dazzling compared to what I was used to. With subsequent versions of Netscape and later Internet Explorer, sounds and multimedia continued to capture my interest. However, I still today use Lynx when I need to download files or take a quick look at a page. But I know that me and my fellow Lynx users are dying out. Many of the children today will grow up never having to use a DOS or UNIX interface. I feel that something will be lost. Slowly another chapter of the history of computer technology with be finished and the pages will fold over and bury us dinosaurs.

Long ago and far away there once was a graphical browser named Mosaic. It's not dead, but as far as most of the world is concerned, it may as well be. In November of 1994 Netscape 1.0 entered the market like an eruption. Its popularity, especially with the fact that it was free to educational institutions, spread quickly. For a brief time is was _the_ standard. Then, in 1995, Microsoft took interest in the web-browsing market. Shortly after Netscape released version 2.0, Microsoft released its 1.0 of Internet Explorer. In 1996, both companies released their respective 3.0's. Netscape is currently beta-testing it's Communicator(netscape 4) which supports the new Dynamic HTML standards. Microsoft is currently working on their I.E. 4 and Windows 97 in which it hopes to merge the two together and create an 'Active Desktop'. This is just another step in Microsoft's plan for the mass assimilation of the computer world.