Most children today probably don’t even realize that there were ever any other browsers to use the World Wide Web other than Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. NCSA Mosaic and Netscape Navigator were both very popular in their prime but most children today have never heard of them which just goes to show how fast technology can change in a short time period.
NCSA Mosaic and Netscape Navigator were both designed partially by Marc Andreesen (Cooper, 2014). These two early browsers were well known in their time. NCSA Mosaic came out in 1993 (Living Internet) while Netscape Navigator came out in 1994 (Sharwood, 2014).
NCSA Mosaic was known for its features (NCSA). These included “icons, bookmarks, a more attractive interface, and pictures” (NCSA). Before this time, you wouldn’t have been able to put a picture on your website because the browser would not have been able to display it properly. The features of NCSA Mosaic were popular at the time because they were not offered on other browsers. It was originally released for Unix X-Windows and later rereleased for Mac (Living Internet). Mosaic became known in the browser industry because it was able to be used by multiple operating systems and it was free for non-commercial use which was one of the first times that a browser was available this way which is now commonplace in the web industry.
Netscape was created in 1994 (Sharwood, 2014) and made originally by Mosaic Communications Corporation which became Netscape (Sharwood, 2014). It was intended for use by the “average user” and only required a modem (Sharwood, 2014). This was because it had an easier to use interface for use by the general public. One of its major contributions was that it was available for “Windows, Mac, and X-Window System” (Sharwood, 2014). Another one of its major contributions to cyberspace was that it allowed the World Wide Web to rid itself of other systems of Internet including WAIS and Gopher. (Sharwood, 2014)
Both browsers have since been discontinued, however, Netscape as a company eventually sold their business to AOL which helped to create the Mozilla Firefox browser. (Bicknell, 1998) NCSA Mosaic was discontinued due to the rising popularity of other web browsers such as Internet Explorer. Upon further research, I discovered that the organization is currently producing open source software out of their headquarters at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Since I am older than today’s traditional college student, I do actually remember using Netscape as a teen. As for NCSA, I didn’t personally use it because by the time I knew about it, it was popular with businesses and organizations and not the go-to browser for the home user. Internet and the World Wide Web have definitely changed drastically in my lifetime and I can only imagine what they will dream up for the World Wide Web that my children and grandchildren will use.Bicknell, C., & Oaks, C. (1998, November 24). Mozilla Stomps Ahead Under AOL. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://web.archive.org/web/20140603235609/http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/1998/11/16466 Cooper, S. (2014, May 10). Whatever happened to Netscape? Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://www.engadget.com/2014/05/10/history-of-netscape/ Living Internet. (n.d.). Mosaic -- The First Global Web Browser. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.livinginternet.com/w/wi_mosaic.htm NCSA. (n.d.). NCSA Mosaic. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/enabling/mosaic Sharwood, S. (2014, October 14). Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/14/netscape_navigator_the_browser_that_started_it_all_turns_20 University of Illinois. (n.d.). The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License (NCSA). Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://opensource.org/licenses/NCSA