The summer of 1995 we saw the release of Windows 95, which introduced the paradox of clicking ‘Start’ to turn-off your computer. But more importantly, that summer was also the release of Internet Explorer 1.0 which forever changed the way people accessed the Internet. Yes, there was the Netscape browser but in 1995 the Internet access was still fairly ‘controlled’ by online providers such as AOL which offered a “walled-off version of the Internet.” Internet Explorer was the biggest success for Microsoft, especially when IE4 was released in late 1997. This was the version that Microsoft bundled with Windows 98, a practice that increased IE’s market share from around 20% in late 1997 to a staggering 60% by 1999. But also, introduced the first of what would be countless anti-trust lawsuits both in the US an Europe against Microsoft.
Nick Eaton, author of The Microsoft Blog part of the Seattle PI has an in-depth post about Internet Explorer highlighting it’s rise (and fall) over the past 15-years. But the article is not just about IE, it also goes into the ‘browser wars’ with eventual death of Netscape, the introduction of Firefox and more recently the introduction of Google Chrome into the Browser Market.