Web browser history

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A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content.[1] Hyperlinks present in resources enable users easily to navigate their browsers to related resources. A web browser can also be defined as an application software or program designed to enable users to access, retrieve and view documents and other resources on the Internet.

Although browsers are primarily intended to access the World Wide Web, they can also be used to access information provided by web servers in private networks or files in file systems.

Web browsers by year[edit]

A rough estimate of usage share by percent of layout engines of web browsers as of Q2 2009, see usage share of web browsers.

This is a table of personal computer web browsers by year of release of major version, in chronological order, with the approximate number of worldwide Internet users in millions. Note that Internet user data is related to the entire market, not the versions released in that year. The increased growth of the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s means that current browsers with small market shares have more total users than the entire market early on. For example, 90% market share in 1997 would be roughly 60 million users, but by the start of 2007 9% market share would equate to over 90 million users.[2]

Year Web browsers Internet users
(in millions)[2][3][4]
1991 WorldWideWeb (Nexus) 4
1992 ViolaWWW, Erwise, MidasWWW, MacWWW (Samba) 7
1993 Mosaic, Cello,[5] Lynx 2.0, Arena, AMosaic 1.0 10
1994 IBM WebExplorer, Netscape Navigator, SlipKnot 1.0, MacWeb, IBrowse, Agora (Argo), Minuet 20
1995 Internet Explorer 1, Netscape Navigator 2.0, OmniWeb, UdiWWW,[6] Internet Explorer 2, Grail 16-39
1996 Arachne 1.0, Internet Explorer 3.0, Netscape Navigator 3.0, Opera 2.0,
PowerBrowser 1.5,[7] Cyberdog, Amaya 0.9,[8] AWeb, Voyager
36-73
1997 Internet Explorer 4.0, Netscape Navigator 4.0, Netscape Communicator 4.0, Opera 3.0,[9] Amaya 1.0[8] 70-118
1998 iCab, Mozilla 147-184
1999 Amaya 2.0,[8] Mozilla M3, Internet Explorer 5.0 248-278
2000 Konqueror, Netscape 6, Opera 4,[10] Opera 5,[11] K-Meleon 0.2, Amaya 3.0,[8] Amaya 4.0[8] 361-396
2001 Internet Explorer 6, Galeon 1.0, Opera 6,[12] Amaya 5.0[8] 513-499
2002 Netscape 7, Mozilla 1.0, Phoenix 0.1, Links 2.0, Amaya 6.0,[8] Amaya 7.0[8] 587-659
2003 Opera 7,[13] Safari 1.0, Epiphany 1.0, Amaya 8.0[8] 719-771
2004 Firefox 1.0, Netscape Browser, OmniWeb 5.0 817-897
2005 Safari 2.0, Netscape Browser 8.0, Opera 8,[14] Epiphany 1.8, Amaya 9.0,[8] AOL Explorer 1.0, Maxthon 1.0, Shiira 1.0 1018-1022
2006 SeaMonkey 1.0, K-Meleon 1.0, Galeon 2.0, Camino 1.0, Firefox 2.0, Avant 11, iCab 3, Opera 9,[15] Internet Explorer 7 1093-1150
2007 Maxthon 2.0, Netscape Navigator 9, NetSurf 1.0, Flock 1.0, Safari 3.0, Conkeror 1319-1364
2008 Konqueror 4, Safari 3.1, Opera 9.5,[16] Firefox 3, Amaya 10.0,[8] Flock 2, Chrome 1, Amaya 11.0[8] 1574-1556
2009 Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 2-3, Safari 4, Opera 10,[17] SeaMonkey 2, Camino 2, Firefox 3.5 1802-1743
2010 K-Meleon 1.5.4, Firefox 3.6, Chrome 4-8, Opera 10.50,[18] Safari 5, xxxterm, Opera 11 1971-2012
2011 Chrome 9-16, Firefox 4-9, Internet Explorer 9, Maxthon 3.0, SeaMonkey 2.1-2.3, Opera 11.50, Safari 5.1 2,267-2264
2012 Chrome 17-23, Firefox 10-17, Internet Explorer 10, Opera 12, Safari 6 2,497

Historical web browsers[edit]

This table focuses on operating system (OS) and browsers of the 1990s and turn of the century. The year listed for a version is usually the year of the first official release, with an end year being end of development, project change, or relevant termination. Releases of OS and browser from the early 1990s to before 2001-2002 time frame are the current focus.

Many early browsers can be made to run on later OS (and later browsers on early OS in some cases); however, most of these situations are avoided in the table. Terms are defined below.

Browser Years MS 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 98/Me NT 95 3.1 IBM OS/2 Mac OS X
(Intel/PPC)
Mac OS 9 Mac OS 8 System 7
(PPC/68k)
Linux BSD Unix
(HP-UX,
Solaris)
Other
Years (OS) - 2000/2001 1998 1993 1995 1992 1988 2001 1999 1997 1991 '94(1.0)/'91 1993 (1990s) -
AWeb 1996-Now No No No No No No No No No No No No No AmigaOS
MorphOS
Cello 1993-1994 No No Terminated (1.01a) No Terminated (1.01a) Terminated (1.01a) No No No No No No No No
DocZilla 2003-2005 Terminated (1.0) Terminated (1.0) Terminated (1.0) Terminated (1.0) No No No No No No Terminated (1.0) No No No
IBM WebExplorer 1994 No No No No Unknown Terminated (1.1h) No No No No No No No No
ICab 1998-Now No No No No No No Yes (4.25) Dropped (3.03) Dropped (2.9.9) Dropped (2.9.9) No No No No
Internet Explorer 1995-Current Included (Win 2000 dropped as of IE7) Dropped (6.0 SP1) (included 5.0) Dropped (6.0 SP1) (included 2.0) Dropped (5.0) (included 3.0) Dropped (5.0) No No No No Dropped (3.0) Dropped* (5.01 SP1) No Dropped* (5.01 SP1) Windows Server 2008 included (7.0), Windows Server 2003 included (6.0)
IE Mac
(IE5, Tasman)
1996-2003 No No No No No No Terminated (5.2.3) (didn't support Intel) Dropped (5.1.7) Dropped (5.1.7) No No No No No
Konqueror 1996-Current Yes No No No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Lunascape 2004-Current Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003
MacWeb 1994-1996 No No No No No No No No Unknown Terminated (2.0) No No No No
Mosaic 1993-1997 No No Terminated Terminated Terminated Terminated No Terminated (3.0) Terminated Terminated Dropped (2.6) Dropped (2.6) Dropped (2.6) OpenVMS
Mozilla
(restarted SeaMonkey)
2002-2006 Terminated (1.7.13 - Vista and 7 unsupported) Terminated (1.7.13) Terminated (1.7.13) Terminated (1.7.13) Dropped Terminated (1.7.13) Terminated (1.7.13) Dropped (1.2.1) Dropped (1.0.1) No Terminated (1.7.13) Terminated (1.7.13) Terminated (1.7.13) OpenVMS
Mozilla Firefox 2004 - current Yes Dropped (3.0) Dropped (3.0) Dropped (3.0) No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No
Netscape Navigator 9 2008 Terminated (Windows 7 unsupported) Terminated No No No No Terminated
(Mac OS X v10.2)
No No No Terminated
(kernel 2.2.14)
No No No
Netscape Browser 2004-2007 Terminated (Vista and 7 unsupported) Terminated Terminated Terminated No No No No No No No No No No
Netscape 7
Netscape 6
2000-2004 Terminated (7.2 - Vista and 7 unsupported

XP also unsupported in Netscape 6)
Terminated (7.2) Terminated (7.2) Terminated (7.2) No No Terminated (7.2) Dropped (7.02) Dropped (7.02) Unknown Terminated (7.2) Terminated (7.2) Terminated (7.2) No
Netscape Communicator 1997-2002 Terminated (4.8 - XP/Vista/7 unsupported) Terminated (4.8) Terminated (4.8) Terminated Dropped (4.08) Terminated No Terminated (4.80) Terminated (4.80) Dropped (4.08) Dropped (4.77) Terminated Dropped (4.77) No
Netscape Navigator 1994-1998 No Terminated (4.08) Terminated Terminated Terminated (4.08) Terminated No Terminated (4.08) Dropped Dropped 3.0.4 Terminated (4.08) Terminated (4.08) Terminated (4.08) OpenVMS
OmniWeb 1995-Now No No No No No No Yes Dropped (4.0) Dropped Dropped No No No NeXTSTEP
Opera 1996-Current Yes Yes Dropped (10.0)[19] Yes Dropped (3.62) Dropped (5.12) Yes Dropped (7.54u2) Dropped (6.03) Unknown Yes Yes Yes[note 1][note 2] Yes[note 3]
UdiWWW 1995-1996 No No Terminated (1.2.000) Terminated (1.2.000) Terminated (1.2.000) No No No No No No No No No
ViolaWWW 1992 No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes X11
WorldWideWeb 1991 No No No No No No No No No No No No No NeXTSTEP
OpenStep
Browser Years MS 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 98/Me NT 95 3.1 IBM OS/2 Mac OS X
(Intel/PPC)
Mac OS 9 Mac OS 8 System 7
(PPC/68k)
Linux BSD Unix
(HP-UX,
Solaris)
Other

[20][21]

  1. ^ Opera dropped support for Solaris in 10.10.
  2. ^ Ødegaard, Ruari. "The Setting Sun". Opera Desktop Team. Opera Software. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Cell phones, Nintendo DS / Wii, Symbian, Windows Mobile, iOS (Opera Mini - available from App Store); BeOS (Dropped 3.62), QNX (Dropped 6.01)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacobs, Ian; Walsh, Norman (15 December 2004). "URI/Resource Relationships". Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One. World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "History and Growth of the Internet". Internet World Stats. June 21, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Internet users". The World Bank Group. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  4. ^ http://stats.areppim.com/stats/stats_internetxfcst.htm
  5. ^ Brennan, Elaine (13 Jun 1993). "World Wibe Web Browser: Ms-Windows (Beta) (1/149)". Humanist Archives Vol. 7. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Großmann, Prof. Dr. Hans Peter. "Department of Information Resource Management". University of Ulm. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Oracle Introduces PowerBrowser". Oracle Corporation. 18 June 1996. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Release history". W3C. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  9. ^ "Opera Software Releases 3.60" (Press release). Opera Software. 1998-05-12. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  10. ^ "Opera 4.0 for Windows Released" (Press release). Opera Software. 2000-06-27. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  11. ^ "The Browser War Lights Up in Europe" (Press release). Opera Software. 2000-12-06. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  12. ^ "Opera 6.0 for Windows launched after record-breaking beta" (Press release). Opera Software. 2001-11-29. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  13. ^ "Opera 7 Ready to Rock the Web" (Press release). Opera Software. 2003-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  14. ^ "Speed, Security and Simplicity: Opera 8 Web Browser Released Today" (Press release). Opera Software. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  15. ^ "Your Web, Your Choice: Opera 9 Gives You the Control" (Press release). Opera Software. 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  16. ^ "Opera redefines Web browsing yet again" (Press release). Opera Software. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  17. ^ "Turbocharge your Web experience with Opera 10" (Press release). Opera Software. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  18. ^ "The world's fastest browser for Windows" (Press release). Oslo, Norway: Opera Software. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "System requirements for Opera for Windows". Opera Software. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "Article ID : 164539; Section Internet Explorer for Macintosh or Windows 3.1". Microsoft. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  21. ^ "The Netscape Archive". Netscape Communications. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2009.