Web pages include text, graphics, sound and video.
These pages, written in the hyper-text markup language, have “links” that allow the user to quickly move from one document to another…even when the documents are stored in different computers.
Web browsers “read” the html text and convert it into a page like the one you are now looking at.
Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first web browser on a NeXT computer, called WorldWideWeb, finishing the first version on Christmas day, 1990. He released the program to a number of people at CERN in March, 1991, introducing the web to the high energy physics community, and beginning its spread.
Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina from the NCSA released the first version of Mosaic for X-Windows on Unix computers in February, 1993. A version for the Macintosh was developed by Aleks Totic and released a few months later, making Mosaic the first browser with cross-platform support. Mosaic introduced support for sound, video clips, forms support, bookmarks, and history files, and quickly became the most popular non-commercial web browser.
In August, 1994, NCSA assigned commercial rights to Mosaic to Spyglass, Inc., which subsequently licensed the technology to several other companies, including Microsoft for use in Internet Explorer.
Currently there are many web browsers available. The Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox are the most popular.Microsoft has released a new version of Internet Explorer with new, built-in security features. Internet Explorer 8.0 (with new anti-spyware features). The move comes four years after Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company, launched a major initiative to improve the reliability and security of its software, which runs on about 90 percent of all personal computers.
Firefox is a free, open-source web browser for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and is based on the Mozilla codebase. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advantages over Internet Explorer, such as the ability to block pop-up windows.”
Google released it’s own browsers called Chrome. On the surface, they designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff – the pages, sites and applications that make up the web.
If you use an Apple computer you may wish to try Safari (there is also a version that runs on PCs). It offers you a superior Web experience with outstanding performance. Even the most complex of pages load at breakneck speed. In fact, Safari loads pages more quickly than any other Mac Web browser.
Not enough choices? Visit an archive featuring over 80 different browsers, both old and new. Web browsers are fully customizable. You have the option of changing the size of the text and style of font that is displayed. You also have the option of changing the “home” or “startup” page that appears when the browser is started. We suggest that you set your “home” to whichever portal you usually visit. Here’s a list of our suggested sites that will make excellent “startup” pages. Want to research something fast? Install a search engine toolbar within your browser. Some even block pop-ups and spam and can securely remember your credit card number for future purchases.