Web browsers I have known, 1994-2012  JUL 26 2012

I'm switching to a new default web browser today (i.e. the browser I use the most on my computer) and that put me in a reminiscing mood. So here are some screenshots of all of the browsers I've used as my default for the past 18 years.

Using NCSA Mosaic to surf the World Wide Web for the very first time in the basement physics lab at college was as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. It was a thunderbolt that completely changed my life.

NCSA Mosaic

When Marc Andreessen left NCSA and formed a company to build web browsers, it was clear that their browser was the future. The first version was called Mosaic Netscape:

Mosaic Netscape

NCSA didn't appreciate the new company's use of the Mosaic name so they changed it to Netscape Navigator. This is a screenshot of Netscape 3, still my favorite web browser.

Netscape Navigator 3.0

I continued to use Netscape 3 even after the release of Netscape 4, which was a such pile of junk that I eventually decamped for the sweaty embrace of Gates and Ballmer. You may not remember, but IE 4 was a pretty good browser. Microsoft won the browser wars, in part, because their browser was better than the other guy's.

IE for Windows

I used IE on Windows until I bought a iBook in 2002. The default browser for OS X was IE for Mac:

IE for Mac

From IE for Mac, I moved to Chimera. I loved Chimera...it was fast and was the first browser I used that supported tabbed browsing.

Chimera for OS X

Chimera soon changed its name to Camino for legal reasons and I switched along with them.

Camino for OS X

Eventually, the team and resources for Camino dried up, the release schedule slowed down, and the other browser makers caught up. At this point, I can't quite remember what I switched to. I might have gone to Firebird (which was renamed Firefox), but I probably just went straight to Safari.

Safari

I used Safari for a long time until switching to Firefox a couple of years ago.

Firefox

And today I'm making Chrome my main browser. I'll still use Safari and Firefox for some stuff but links will open up on Chrome by default.

Chrome

Chrome will probably be my last default browser on a non-mobile computer. Many of you use Mobile Safari much more than any desktop web browser; I'm not quite there but will be soon enough.

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
browsers   Jason Kottke   WWW

kottke.org

Front page
About + contact
Site archives

Subscribe

Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Advertisement

Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting