Recently in my web design class, each student was tasked to research three important contributions to the history of the worldwide web and to collaboratively create a timeline to highlight all of the events in their respective order of occurrence. For my contributions, I focused on the topics of first domain name being established on the web (www.symbolics.com), the first picture ever posted on the web, and the establishment of Internet Explorer Version 1.0. Of all of the topics that I had researched and added to the timeline, I found the history of Internet Explorer to be particularly fascinating. This may be in due part to the fact that the web browser was such a major search engine throughout the late 1990’s and well into the mid 2000’s. The type of technology of having such a tool at the fingertips of users on a home computer was astounding! Billions of web pages on endless subjects could be found throughout the surface web interface. Personally speaking, I remember a time where Internet Explorer was the most common browser used within my public school, home, and after school learning center. For me, the idea that I could search and learn on any topic that I was interested in captivated my attention and left me in awe.
August 19th, 1995 was a day that revolutionized web browsing. It was an ambitious project that Microsoft, known for its leading production in computer software, sought to use as a way to build off of the organization that previous web interfaces had tried to accomplish. Version 1.0 of Internet Explorer was very influential in the early days of web history as it set the standards for viewing large pools of resources and websites and through an ease of accessing the browser, allow people from long distances to share information between one another in a more effective way. Later updates throughout the years would expand on its capabilities to maximize the user experience. Because of this, the browser became very popular, especially between the early to mid 2000’s, with the majority of users with home computers using Internet Explorer as a primary tool when surfing the worldwide web.
With time, however, comes competition and a more effective means of surfing the web. That’s exactly what happened with Internet Explorer when major browsing services like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome were established in the latter 2000’s. Faster broadband speed, more advanced user capabilities, and more user friendly applications for mobile devices, laptops, and tablets naturally led to a shift toward such programs for browsing. Internet Explorer continued to produce updates well into the year 2013 as computer technology advanced . By March of 2015, however, Microsoft announced that the Internet Explorer brand would be coming to an end, after already pushing for its relevance since 2009.
While in the modern day of programs like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have overtaken Internet Explorer as a dominant web browser for their advanced program structure, one cannot deny that projects like Internet Explorer pioneered the idea of bookmarking large volumes of data and web content, organizing them accordingly based on search topics, and creating a user friendly experience when searching through the worldwide web. Even though the program may not be as prominent as it once was, it is nice to look back at the legacy it created for the web and observe the successor web browsers that have followed since. Only time will tell where internet browsing will take us into the future!