Browser Wars Era

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 2.0 wasn't really a serious browser, but one day mr Gates seems to have woken up from a bad dream about Netscape becoming an operating system or something equally threatening. For he did mobilize!

Virtually overnight Microsoft developed the Internet Explorer 3. A worthy competitor to Netscapes new Navigator 3. Giving away the Internet Explorer entirely for free, Microsoft was suddenly becoming a threat to Netscape's whole existence. The browser war had started.

There wasn't any giant leap between Navigator 2 and 3. Everything just got slightly better. But the difference between Internet Explorer 2 and 3 was a really astounding. Not only did the new browser implement most features from Navigator 3 (albeit in a Microsofty "Windows enhanced" fashion). In some aspects it was even further developed. It was the first major browser with stylesheet support, and it could handle the PICS system for content metadata.

While Netscape prided in their embracement of open standards, Microsoft did their best to make the web look and function like a Windows feature. Both browsers supported Java, but Microsoft also launched ActiveX, which is a technology for putting Windows applications on web pages. Both browsers supported JavaScript, but Microsoft called their implementation JScript and included functions that would only work on a Windows machine. For fairness one has to tell that Netscape wasn't alltogether the incarnation of open standards. They too try to establish de facto standards before the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has come up with official ones.

W3C - the web equivalence to the UN