A brief history of web browsers


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Foundations of Computing Assignment


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Tim Berners Lee:

Tim Berners Lee Designed the first HTML specification. Wrote the first web browser, WorldWideWeb Wrote the first web server.


WorldWideWeb First Web Browser Only ran on NeXTStep machines.




Netscape A group of Mosaic developers wrote a new web browser. During development it was called “Mosaic Killer”, or Mozilla Their company was forced to change their name from Mosaic Communications Corp. to Netscape The brower’s name was also changed

Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer Based on Spyglass Mosaic Bundled with Windows Gained large amounts of market share

Back at Netscape:

Back at Netscape Decided to rewrite their code from scratch Set Netscape back significantly Lost market share to IE Released browser as open source Bought by AOL


Mozilla Open sourced version of Netscape Contained features other than browsing – IRC, Email, etc. Not very successful

Phoenix, Firebird, Firefox:

Phoenix, Firebird, Firefox Mozilla refocused on core browser After a while, settled on the name Firefox Gained enough market share to force Microsoft to restart IE development


Safari Developed for OS X by Apple. Never gained market share beyond Mac on desktop. Variant used on iOS devices.

Google Chrome:

Google Chrome Released by Google in 2008 Made significant gains in market share. Overtook Firefox for 2 nd place in 2011

Market Share – 2000s:

Market Share – 2000s

Market Share – since 2009:

Market Share – since 2009


References Berners-Lee, T. (1989) Information Management: A Proposal [online] Available at: http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html (Accessed 1 December 2011) Cailliau , R. (2000) A Little History of the World Wide Web W3C [online] Available at: http://www.w3.org/History.html (Accessed 1 December 2011) Google (2011) The Evolution of the Web [online] Available at: http://evolutionofweb.appspot.com/ (Accessed 3 December 2011) McMillan, R. (2004) IE loses market share as trend reverses Infoworld [online] Available at: http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/ie-loses-market-share-trend-reverses-149 (Accessed 1 December 2011)


References Melton, D. (2003) Greetings from the Safari team at Apple Computer [online] Available at: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kfm-devel&m=104197092318639&w=2 (Accessed 3 december 2011) Mozilla.org (2011) History of the Mozilla Project [online] http://www.mozilla.org/about/history.html (Accessed 2 December 2011) Sink, E. (2003) Memoirs from the Browser Wars [online] Available at: http://www.ericsink.com/Browser_Wars.html (Accessed 1 December 2011) StatCounter (2011) Statcounter Global Stats [online] Available at: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-200807-201112 (Accessed 3 December 2011)


References Spolsky , J. (2000) Things you should never do, Part I [online] Available at: http://joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html (Accessed 1 December 2011)

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