The Internet: Twenty Years in Review, 1995 – 2015 (Adoption of the Internet.pt 8)


This Week, “Adoption of the Internet, part 8″

 Protocols were developed, graphical browsers established, and a technology leader was in place. Interest was growing in this new web, and users around the world were taking notice.

 

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1994 

  • Mosaic Communications Corporation was founded in April, 1994, following strategic meetings between Jim Clark and Mark Andreessen.FILE--Netscape Communications Corporation co-founders Jim Clark, left, and Marc Andreessen pose outside of their offices in Mountain View, Calif., in this undated file photo. The company's initial public offering price of $28 per share traded as high as $75 Wednesday, August 8, 1995. The company makes a popular software internet browser program called Netscape. (AP Photo/HO)
    • Creation
    • Killer App
      • netscape-techwarp-ft-150x150The Netscape Navigator (name changed from Mosaic after issues with NCSA) was released in October 1994. It quickly supplanted all existing browsers including NCSA Mosaic, within four months of release, it took over three quarters of the browser market. 

 

There are two ages of the Internet – before Mosaic, and after. The combination of Tim Berners-Lee’s Web protocols, which provided connectivity, and Marc Andreesen’s browser, which provided a great interface, proved explosive. In twenty-four months, the Web has gone from being unknown to absolutely ubiquitous. 

Pesce, Mark (October 15, 1995). “A Brief History of Cyberspace”. ZDNet.

 

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1995 – finally

  • Netscape Communications Corporation was selling something that users could easily get for no cost for non-commercial use.
  • In January, Jim Barksdale joined the company as its CEO.Jim Barksdale

“Now I’m the President around here. So if I say a chicken can pull a tractor trailer, your job is to hitch ’em up.”

  • In February, Netscape released version 2 of SSL as a way to securely transmit content over the web. Web users may recognize SSL as “HTTPS” addresses, or little padlock icons in certain browsers.

 

  • Netscape went public in August. By the time that it went public, Netscape (renamed from Mosaic after issues with NCSA) had doubled revenues each quarter since it had started business, and was making more money than Microsoft. It wasn’t profitable, but it had captured the attention of the investing world. The stock opened at $28, went to $75 and closed at $58.25, giving the first dot com offering an instant valuation of $3bn.

“In a fight between a bear and an alligator, it is the terrain which determines who wins.”

 

  • Microsoft released Windows 95 with the Plus! pack on August 24, 1995, two weeks after the Netscape public offering. This release included Internet Explorer 1.0, built using a licensed version of Spyglass Mosaic, and this started the Browser Wars.

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Summary

 

A user friendly web browser was available, along with unwelcome competition. Netscape, a seemingly insignificant startup trying to sell technology that was available for nothing went public, was valued by the market at $3 BILLION, and Microsoft woke up and decided to get into the web.

 . . . part 9

 

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