IBM WebExplorer displaying the White House Website
|Initial release||November 27, 1995|
1.2 / November 25, 1998
Presented in 1994 with OS/2 Warp (v3), it was hailed as the best browser by Internet Magazine in their November issue and leveraged its position as the only native browser in OS/2 at that time. It was a "coming attraction" in The HTML Sourcebook: The Complete Guide to HTML. Almost immediately after the introduction of OS/2 Warp version 3, IBM dismantled the development team and that relegated the WebExplorer to the annals of history. OS/2 Warp 4 (1996) included it, but also included a link to download an OS/2 version of Netscape Navigator 2.02, which was late for shipping on CD. IBM had already planned the substitution of WebExplorer.
In 1995, it was added to AIX, IBM's proprietary UNIX platform.
A 1996 review in PC Mag found that WebExplorer "lack[ed] several standard features" and wasn't very strong in terms of multimedia support. The IBM browser shipping with the IBM Internet Connection suite, WebExplorer Mosaic, was based on the Spyglass Mosaic code base and was found by the reviewer to be "far superior" to the OS/2 version, which was developed solely by IBM.
- Support for HTML 3.0 (with tables)
- Usenet reader
- Some of its parts could be reused in other programs and scripted with Rexx. Some external companies used this capability to offer an enhanced browser with IBM's rendering engine
- A page could define what the animated throbber should look like. It was implemented through a non-standard <frame> HTML tag. OS/2 users created several animations. The later introduction of web frames leads WebExplorer to confusion on modern pages
- A presentation mode without visible menu bars
- A menu option Links collecting all the links in the page. It was used by IBM VoiceType for voice navigation
- Java applets
- GIF support
- Proxy authentication
- Image map
- Webmap "hierarchically displays your complete path through the web; a pointer denotes the current site, but any site can be revisited with only a mouse click."
|1.0||January 6, 1995||Customized Animations||OS/2 2.1, OS/2 Warp|
|1.01||April 5, 1995||OS/2 2.1, OS/2 Warp|
|1.02||June 28, 1995||Drag and Drop Support
Color Palette Management
|1.03||September 28, 1995||Newsgroup Manager
|1.1a||March 22, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1c||June 6, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1d||June 14, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1e||July 11, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1f||September 13, 1996||Option "No Proxy For"||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1g||November 7, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.1h||December 11, 1996||OS/2 Warp|
|1.2||1996||OS/2 Warp Version 4|
There were severals builds released by IBM. IBM released some beta builds and also fixed many bugs in WebExplorer, one beta including support for Java.
- IBM Cruises onto Internet with Security Products & WWW Software SUPERHIGHWAY REPORT HPCwire
- Ayre, Rick; Mace, Thomas (March 12, 1996). "Just Browsing". PC Mag. Ziff Davis.
- Read me file of the Web Explorer 1.1h.
- Under the Scope section. EDM/2 June 1996, Volume 4 Issue 5
- "hobbes.nmsu.edu". hobbes.nmsu.edu. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- Amstadt, Steve (December 3, 1996). "Browser Watch – IBM OS/2 Webexplorer News!". Archived from the original on February 9, 1999. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- Nicola Brown; Peter Chen; David Miller; Paul Van Eyk; William E. Weinman (1996). "Designing Web Animation" (PDF). New Riders Publishing. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- "Internet Access Tools". PC Mag (v.14 n.7). Ziff Davis. October 10, 1995. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Watson, Dave (July 21, 2001). "A Quick Look at Web Explorer". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- The official page at IBM at the Wayback Machine (archived January 16, 1999)
- The IBM OS/2 WebExplorer
- IBM WebExplorer is mentioned in United States v. Microsoft.