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Welcome to the Web Browser home page. The purpose of this portion of my site is to provide a general overview of the more popular options available for surfing the Internet, sending and receiving mail, and calendar options. Each page will include tables showing an representative icon for the software being covered and a brief description. Clicking on the icon will take you to the home page of the software so you can obtain further information or potentially download it.

A brief history lesson is beneficial to understand how we got to where we are today. Since the world wide web became available to the general public in 1990, development of web browser software has become intertwined and coincides with its evolution. Various browsers were developed in the early years of the web, but in 1994 Netscape Communications introduced Navigator and it quickly became the browser software of choice. At this point, Microsoft had not entered the web browser market and made the decision to do so in 1995 with its browser offering - Internet Explorer (IE). This was the start of what has been termed as the "browser wars". Both Netscape and IE saw rapid improvements as they attempted to outdo each other to become the dominant browser. Netscape held on for many years, but was topped by IE once Microsoft integrated it into the Windows operating system. Another factor dealt with cost - IE is free and Navigator was not. The end of the war came in 2002 when Netscape announced it was leaving the browser market. For a time, IE remained unchallenged and saw very little development, while alternatives began to arrive that either offered improvements to IE or offered an alternative to using IE. This was termed the second browser war. Wikipedia has a more detailed overview of web browsers history and the browser war.

As of June 2006, the most popular browser are currently available (in descending order) - Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Netscape and Opera. The following is an overview of what you will find on this site:

  • Internet Explorer is developed by Microsoft and emerged the victor in the "browser wars". Its development stagnated shortly thereafter which prompted enhancements to the core engine of IE itself. Please go to my Internet Explorer page to learn more about IE and its enhancements.
  • The demise of Netscape Navigator did not end the development of alternative browsers. The formerly proprietary Navigator code was made available to developers and other alternatives were developed. Meanwhile, some Scandanvian developers created a popular alternative known as Opera. To find out more, please visit my Alternate Browsers page.
  • Another advent of the World Wide Web was the ability to send and receive e-mail. As with web browsers, various mail clients exist to help you manage your e-mail requirements. Personal Information Managers (PIM) let you do more than send/receive e-mail. I present an overview of both on my Mail Clients page.
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