Today we bring you a nice bedtime story about the browser wars and the history of how you access the web.
A long time ago (1994), in the very beginning of the internet, there was one browser that was king of the wild and untamed world wide web. It was called Netscape, its ruler was Marc Andreessen. People far and wide would buy (thats right, pay money) this program to hear all of the “high quality” MIDI files and view the animated GIFs that lived in the cyber world. It was a free and peaceful time. But not for long…
Windows and its emperor Bill Gates began plotting their invasion of the browser market in 1995. Because they were already selling everyone the operating system that ran Netscape, they had the money and the means to just give away a browser, and shut down Netscape for good. For years, the two companies fought for control of the web, but with the release of IE 4 in 1997, Windows sealed the fate of Netscape.
However, all was not lost. A small group that was a spin-off of Netscape was already at work developing a new browser that would change the game yet again. The Mozilla Foundation officially came into existence in 2003, although it had been working incognitounder Netscape and AOL since 1998. In 2004, the first version of Firefox was released, introducing the world to tabbed browsing and many other features. Since then Firefox continues to battle Internet Explorer, seeking justice for its forefather of Netscape.
Just as things were settling in the Second Browser War, Google, as part of its general plan of world domination, released Chrome in 2008. The effects of this browser are not clear yet, but it has helped in knocking IE to lower usage, and provided room for browser experimentation and growth.
Finally, last week, Marc Andreessen returned to change the browser game once again. He backed RockMelt, a new Facebook oriented browser. In a modern times of social networking, there is now a browser that will keep you updated on all of your Facebook and twitter happenings wherever you are on the web, especially if you are on the Clodewerks Blog.
What happens next? That’s up to whatever crazy developers come up with next. Or what we as consumers choose to use. What’s your browser of choice? What do you want to see in a browser?