Internet Explorer 2

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Internet Explorer 2
Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 logo.GIF
Internet Explorer 2.PNG
Internet Explorer 2 under Windows NT 4.0
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release Windows: November 22, 1995; 21 years ago (1995-11-22)
Mac OS: April 1996 (1996-04)
Stable release
Windows: 2.01
Mac OS: 2.1
Operating system
Included with Windows 95 OSR 1 and Windows NT 4.0
Platform x86 (16- and 32-bit), 68k, PowerPC, MIPS, Alpha AXP
Available in Up to 24 different languages[citation needed]
Type Web browser
License Proprietary
Internet Explorer versions:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 (IE2) was a graphical web browser released on November 22, 1995, by Microsoft for Windows 95 and Windows NT and in April 1996 for Apple Macintosh[1][dubious ] and Windows 3.1.

Version 2 launched with 12 languages, including English, but this expanded to 24 for Windows 95, 20 for Windows 3.1, and 9 for the Macintosh by April 1996.[2] It lacked many features that became common in later IE versions, including the Blue 'e' logo, integration with Windows Explorer, and bundled programs.[citation needed] Its market share was also much lower than later versions. During its tenure, IE market share only went up to about roughly 3-9% by mid 1996, before Internet Explorer 3 was released.[3][4]

Internet Explorer 2 is no longer supported, or available for download from Microsoft. However, archived versions of the software can be found on various websites.


IE replicated many of the quirks of Netscape Navigator, and allowed importing bookmarks from it.[5] In May 1996 FTP Software announced it was providing Microsoft with various technology for Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows 3.1, including a PPP network, 16-bit email client, and other technology.[6]


Internet Explorer version 2 was released in beta in October 1995, only 2 months after version 1 came out in Microsoft Plus! for 95 that August. It was released for Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.5 in November 1995 and was bundled with NT 4.0 in July 1996. The Beta for Mac on PowerPC came out in January, and the finalized version in April for 68k and PowerPC. Version 2 was also the first release for Windows 3.1 and Macintosh System 7.0.1(PPC or 68k), although the Mac version was not released until January 1996 for PPC, and April for 68k.[1] Version 2 was included in Windows 95 OEM Service Release (OSR 1) and Microsoft's Internet Starter Kit for Windows 95 in early 1996.[2] It launched with twelve languages, including English, but this expanded to 24, 20, and 9 for Win 95, Win 3.1 and Mac respectively by April 1996.[2] The 2.0i version supported double-byte character-sets for supporting Japanese, Korean, Polish or Russian characters in web pages.[2] Version 2.1 for the Mac came out in August 1996, the same month version 2 for Windows was superseded by Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, which was heavily changed from version 2.[citation needed] There were 16-bit and 32-bit versions depending on the OS.

Mac version[edit]

The Mac version, especially version 2.1, was praised for being economic with resources and for new features.[5] Internet Explorer supported the embedding of a number of multimedia formats into web pages, including AVI and QuickTime formatted video and AIFF, MIDI and WAV formatted audio.[5] The non-beta final version was released three months later on April 23, 1996.[citation needed] Version 2.1 fixed bugs and improving stability, but also added a few features such as support for the NPAPI (the first version of Internet Explorer on any platform to do so) and support for QuickTime VR.[5] AOL 3.0 for Macintosh used the IE 2.1 rendering engine in its built-in web browser. The various 16 and 32 bit versions largely depended on the OS although Windows NT would use the 16 bit versions for Windows 3.1.

Netscape has enjoyed a virtual monopoly of the browser market (about 90% according to some estimates), and this has allowed it to consolidate its position still further by introducing unofficial or 'extended' HTML tags. As a result, the Web is littered with pages that only work effectively if viewed in Navigator. By the time other browsers catch up, Netscape has made even more additions.

— Jack Weber, MacUser 1996[5]


IE2 introduced new or improved features for its time period. Many soon became ubiquitous (such as cookies) while other features became obsolete.[7][8]




Major version Minor version Release date Significant changes Shipped with
Version 2 2.0 Beta October 1995 Support of HTML tables and other elements.
2.0 November 22, 1995 SSL, cookies, VRML, and Internet newsgroups. Windows NT 4.0
Windows 95 OSR1
Internet Starter Kit[2]
2.01 August 1996[9] Bug fix release.


Major version Minor version Release date Significant changes
Version 2 2.0 Beta January 23, 1996 Beta for PPC only
2.0 April 23, 1996 PPC and 68k Supported
2.1 August 1996 Bug fixes; NPAPI support[5]


  1. ^ a b Polsson, Ken (1 January 2011). "Chronology of Personal Computers". Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Microsoft Internet Explorer Web Browser Available on All Major Platforms, Offers Broadest International Support" (Press release). Microsoft. 30 April 1996. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Maryann Jones (8 October 1998). "Behind the numbers: Browser market share". CNN. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Kubaitis, Ed. "Browser Statistics for June 1996". University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Archived from the original on May 7, 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Weber, Jack (September 1996). "Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.1" (12 18). MacUser. Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "FTP Software to provide key technology for Microsoft's Internet Explorer Version 2.0 for Windows 3.1". Business Wire. 1 May 1996. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Windows History". Microsoft. 30 June 2003. Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Hardmeier, Sandi (25 August 2005). "The History of Internet Explorer". Microsoft. Archived from the original on October 1, 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Windows 3.x Internet Setup", "NCKCN", 19 August 1996

External links[edit]