16 years ago, today on August 16, 1995, Microsoft's first web browser debuted to the world wide web as an underdog but with the Windows monopoly behind it.
The Internet Explorer 1 made its debut on August 16, 1995, and it was a reworked version of Spyglass Mosaic, which Microsoft had licensed, like many other companies initiating browser development, from Spyglass Inc. It came with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 and the OEM release of Windows 95, and was installed as part of the Internet Jumpstart Kit in Plus!.
The Internet Explorer team began with about six people in early development. Internet Explorer 1.5 was released several months later for Windows NT and added support for basic table rendering. By including it free of charge on their OS, they did not have to pay royalties to Spyglass Inc., resulting in a lawsuit and a multi-million USD settlement.
It was the start of a rapid growth period which culminated with Internet Explorer 6 and the death of Netscape, unable to compete with the new free browser available with the Windows operating system.
Fast forward to 2011, and the software giant is building Internet Explorer 10. The second Platform Preview of IE10 is now available for download to early adopters, with Internet Explorer 9 offered to end users, which is undoubtedly the best version of IE so far, and is a valid alternative to rivals such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.