Friday, May 24, 2024

Popular web browsers since 1994


In its early stages, the Internet was a very technical interface that most people struggled to navigate. But everything changed in 1993 when Mosaic entered the web browser scene.

Mosaic was one of the first “user-friendly” web portals – by today’s standards, it was very difficult to access through a browser. Comparatively, the most used modern browsers have now changed dramatically. This James Eagle animation chronicles the evolution of the web browser market, showing the rise and fall of various web portals from January 1994 to March 2022.

From Mosaic to Netscape In the early 1990s, Mosaic was the most popular web browser. At that time, about 97% of all internet searches were done through this popular web portal. Internet Browser – Share Percentage (January 1994)





A browser that displays images

Mosaic was the first web browser to display images directly on a page aligned with text. Earlier browsers loaded images as separate files, meaning users had to click, download and open a new file to view them.

Pioneer Portal was created by a team of undergraduates at the University of Illinois led by 21-year-old Marc Andreessen. After Andreessen graduated, he co-founded Mosaic Communications Corporation, which evolved into Netscape Communications Corporation, the developer of Netscape Navigator.

Netscape was originally a new and improved version of Mosaic, but since the University of Illinois acquired the rights to Mosaic, the new Andreessen couldn’t actually use the original code.

Netscape was an almost immediate success, and as a result, Mosaic’s market share began to decline. By the late 1990s, Netscape captured 89% of the Internet browser market.

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Internet Browser – Share Percentage (April 1996)

Netscape dominated the market for a few more years. However, in the new millennium, a new technology giant began to take over Internet Explorer.

Netscape 89% 7% 4% Mosaic Internet Explorer Enters Internet Explorer In 1995, Microsoft released Internet Explorer as part of an add-on package for its operating system, Microsoft Windows 95.

Due to the popularity of the Windows franchise at the time, Internet Explorer was quickly adopted. In the early 2000s, it captured more than 90% of the market, reflecting Microsoft’s dominance of the personal computer market.

Web Browser – Share Percentage (January 2000)

Internet Explorer

By that time 18% 77% of other Opera Netscapes had largely exited the market, meaning Internet Explorer didn’t have much competition until Mozilla entered the arena.

Founded by members of Netscape, Mozilla began in 1998 as a project to drive innovation in the web browser market. They shared Netscape’s source code with the public, and over time have built a community of programmers around the world who have helped make the product even better.

In 2004, Mozilla Firefox was launched, and by 2006, captured nearly 30% of the free open source browser market. Firefox and Internet Explorer battled it out for a few more years, but by the mid-2010s, both browsers began to pull away from Google Chrome.

The king of web browsers

When Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin pitched the idea of ​​starting a Google web browser to CEO Larry Schmidt in 2003, he worried that they couldn’t keep up with stiff competition. Eventually, the founders convinced Schmidt, and in 2008, Google Chrome was introduced to the public.

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One of Chrome’s unique features (and still is) is that each tab runs independently. This means that if a tab is frozen, it or others won’t crash, at the expense of more memory and CPU usage.

By 2013, Chrome had swallowed half the market. As Android becomes the most popular mobile platform in the global market, the result is more Chrome installations (and Google searches of course).

Notes on data and methodology

It should be noted that the dataset in this animation uses guest log files from the W3Schools web development and resource site since 1999. Despite receiving more than 60 million monthly visits, its user base leans more towards PC than mobile users.

Also, although Google’s Android platform has a significant lead over Apple’s iOS in the global mobile industry, this trend will also affect the representation of iOS and Safari browsers in animation and datasets.

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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