Internet Explorer, released back in 1995, turns 15, on August 24, this month. The Grandpa of Internet Explorer was a web browser called Mosaic, which first began development at the National Center for Super Computing Applications (NCSA) back in 1987. On the occasion of its 15th birthday, it might be good idea to have a look at the screen-shots, history & highlights from Internet Explorer 1 to Internet Explorer 9.
Internet Explorer 1: The first version of Internet Explorer was released on August 16th 1995. It was not included with Windows 95 when the operating system was officially launched on August 24, 1995. It was introduced as Microsoft’s first Web browser when the Windows 95 Plus! Pack was released.
Internet Explorer 3: Released in August 1996, it was the first major browser to (kind of) support CSS and introduced the world to the now famous Blue E. Visually the browser was much cleaner, and prettier, than previous versions with a swirled background for the toolbar. Optional components included Internet Mail and News 1.0 (later called Outlook Express), NetMeeting, ActiveMovie and HTML Layout Control. It was able to display gifs and jpg files, and play the once common MIDI sound file, as well as streaming audio.
Internet Explorer 4: Internet Explorer 4 was released in 1997 and included with Windows 98, it included a great many improvements. IE4 added many new features and programs to Windows such as Active Desktop (Windows Desktop Update), Channels, Frontpage Express, Netshow, Web Publishing Wizard, Microsoft Chat 2.0 and various multimedia enhancements, including Real Player from Progressive Networks. Internet Mail and News was replaced by Outlook Express 4.
Internet Explorer 5: Internet Explorer 5 was included with Windows 98SE. Microsoft focused on stability and performance when working on this version. For the most part its improvements were behind the scenes, but one of the things introduced that was obvious to the end user was bi-directional text support. Bi-directional text support was very important for international users whose native language was written right to left, instead of left to right. Internet Explorer 5 also supported Ruby Text. The Blue E disappeared from within the Internet Explorer window and was replaced by a rippling Windows logo.
Internet Explorer 6: Internet Explorer 6 shipped with Windows XP, and can be installed on all previous operating systems except for Windows 95. Microsoft focused primarily on security and privacy for the various IE6 releases but also concentrated on fun stuff like the Images Toolbar, Auto Image Resize, Print Preview, and Media Bar. IE6 in Windows XP SP2 went further, adding a pop-up blocker, an Information Bar, an improved file download dialogue and new Add-On Manager, as well as behind-the-scenes improvements such as the Local Machine Zone lockdown.
Internet Explorer 7: Internet Explorer 7 came with a completely redesigned look, tabbed browsing, support for protocols such as RSS, new protection against phishing, improvements like ‘shrink to fit’ when printing, and other changes.
Internet Explorer 8: IE8 was released on March 19, 2009. It includes much stricter compliance with web standards, including a planned full Cascading Style Sheets 2.1 compliance for the release version. All these changes allow Internet Explorer 8 to pass the Acid2 test.
Microsoft has confirmed that WOFF will also be supported. WOFF is “a strong favorite” for standardization by the W3C Web Fonts Working Group. Internet Explorer 9 would would be all-round fast, help enable the same markup to work across browsers and unlock the next class of experiences for the web through Windows and modern hardware.