Internet Explorer History

Internet Explorer history

The Internet Explorer project was started in the summer of 1994 by Thomas Reardon, using source code from Spyglass, Inc. Mosaic, an early commercial web browser with formal ties to the pioneering NCSA Mosaic browser. In late 1994, Microsoft licensed Spyglass Mosaic for a quarterly fee plus a percentage of Microsoft’s non-Windows revenues for the software. Although bearing a name similar to NCSA Mosaic, Spyglass Mosaic had used the NCSA Mosaic source code sparingly. Microsoft has been sued by Synet Inc. in 1996 over the trademark infringement.

Internet Explorer 1

The first version of Internet Explorer (later referred to as Internet Explorer 1) made its debut on 16 August 1995. It was a reworked version of Spyglass Mosaic, which Microsoft had licensed, like many other companies initiating browser development, from Spyglass Inc. It came with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 and the OEM release of Windows 95, and was installed as part of the Internet Jumpstart Kit in Plus!. The Internet Explorer team began with about six people in early development. Internet Explorer 1.5 was released several months later for Windows NT and added support for basic table rendering. By including it free of charge on their OS, they did not have to pay royalties to Spyglass Inc, resulting in a lawsuit and a multi-million USD settlement.

Internet Explorer 2

Internet Explorer 2 was released for Windows 95, Windows NT 3.5, and NT 4.0 on 22 November 1995 (following a 2.0 beta in October). It featured support for SSL, cookies, VRML, RSA, and Internet newsgroups. Version 2 was also the first release for Windows 3.1 and Macintosh System 7.0.1 (PPC or 68k), although the Mac version was not released until January 1996 for PPC, and April for 68k. Version 2.1 for the Mac came out in August 1996, although by this time, Windows was getting 3.0. Version 2 was included in Windows 95 OSR 1 and Microsoft’s Internet Starter Kit for Windows 95 in early 1996. It launched with twelve languages, including English, but by April 1996, this expanded to 24, 20, and 9 for Win 95, Win 3.1, and Mac, respectively. The 2.0i version supported double-byte character-set.
Market share history snapshot for February 2005:

IE4: 0.07%
IE5: 6.17%
IE6: 82.79%

Internet Explorer 3

Internet Explorer 3 was released on 13 August 1996 and went on to be much more popular than its predecessors. Internet Explorer 3 was the first major browser with CSS support, although this support was only partial. It also introduced support for ActiveX controls, Java applets, inline multimedia, and the PICS system for content metadata. Version 3 also came bundled with Internet Mail and News, NetMeeting, and an early version of the Windows Address Book, and was itself included with Windows 95 OSR 2. Version 3 proved to be the first more popular version of Internet Explorer, bringing with it increased scrutiny. In the months following its release, a number of security and privacy vulnerabilities were found by researchers and hackers. This version of Internet Explorer was the first to have the ‘blue e’ logo. The Internet Explorer team consisted of roughly 100 people during the development of three months. The first major IE security hole, the Princeton Word Macro Virus Loophole, was discovered on 22 August 1996 in IE3.[not in citation given] Backwards compatibility was handled by allowing users who upgraded to IE3 to still use the last IE, because the installation converted the previous version to a separate directory. Market share history snapshot for October 2008

IE4: 0.01%
IE5: 0.20%
IE6: 37.01%
IE7: 35.81%

Internet Explorer 4

Internet Explorer 4, released in September 1997, deepened the level of integration between the web browser and the underlying operating system. Installing version 4 on a Windows 95 or Windows NT 4 machine and choosing Windows Desktop Update would result in the traditional Windows Explorer being replaced by a version more akin to a web browser interface, as well as the Windows desktop itself being web-enabled via Active Desktop. The integration with Windows, however, was subject to numerous packaging criticisms (see United States v. Microsoft). This option was no longer available with the installers for later versions of Internet Explorer, but was not removed from the system if already installed. Internet Explorer 4 introduced support for Group Policy, allowing companies to configure and lock down many aspects of the browser’s configuration as well as support for offline browsing. Internet Mail and News was replaced with Outlook Express, and Microsoft Chat and an improved NetMeeting were also included. This version was also included with Windows 98. New features that allowed users to save and retrieve posts in comment forms were added, but they are not used today. Internet Explorer 4.5 offered new features such as easier 128-bit encryption. It also offered a dramatic stability improvement over prior versions, particularly the 68k version, which was especially prone to freezing.

Internet Explorer 5 in Windows 98

Internet Explorer 5, launched on 18 March 1999, and subsequently included with Windows 98 Second Edition and bundled with Office 2000, was another significant release that supported bi-directional text, ruby characters, XML, XSLT, and the ability to save web pages in MHTML format. IE5 was bundled with Outlook Express 5. Also, with the release of Internet Explorer 5.0, Microsoft released the first version of XMLHttpRequest, giving birth to Ajax (even though the term “Ajax” was not coined until years later). It was the last with a 16-bit version. Internet Explorer 5.01, a bug fix version included in Windows 2000, was released in December 1999. Internet Explorer 5.5 followed in July 2000, improving its print preview capabilities, CSS and HTML standards support, and developer APIs; this version was bundled with Windows Me. However, version 5 was the last version for Mac and UNIX. Version 5.5 was the last to have Compatibility Mode, which allowed Internet Explorer 4 to be run side by side with the 5.x. The IE team consisted of over 1,000 people by 1999, with funding on the order of US$100 million per year.

Internet Explorer 6

Internet Explorer 6 was released on 27 August 2001, a few months before Windows XP. This version included DHTML enhancements, content restricted inline frames, and partial support of CSS level 1, DOM level 1, and SMIL 2.0. The MSXML engine was also updated to version 3.0. Other new features included a new version of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), Media bar, Windows Messenger integration, fault collection, automatic image resizing, P3P, and a new look-and-feel that was in line with the Luna visual style of Windows XP, when used in Windows XP. Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 offered several security enhancements and coincided with the Windows XP SP1 patch release. In 2002, the Gopher protocol was disabled, and support for it was dropped in Internet Explorer 7. Internet Explorer 6.0 SV1 came out on 6 August 2004 for Windows XP SP2 and offered various security enhancements and new colour buttons on the user interface. Internet Explorer 6 updated the original ‘blue e’ logo to a lighter blue and more 3D look. Microsoft now considers IE6 to be an obsolete product and recommends that users upgrade to Internet Explorer 8. Some corporate IT users have not upgraded despite this, in part because some still use Windows 2000, which will not run Internet Explorer 7 or above. Microsoft has launched a website, http://ie6countdown.com/, with the goal of getting Internet Explorer 6 usage to drop below 1 percent worldwide. Its usage is 8.3% percent globally in December 2011, and depending to the country the usage differs heavily: while the usage in Norway is 0.2%, it’s 27.9% in the Peoples Republic of China. On 3 January 2012, Microsoft announced that usage of IE6 in the United States had dropped below 1%.

Internet Explorer 7
Main article: Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7 was released on 18 October 2006. It includes bug fixes, enhancements to its support for web standards, tabbed browsing with tab preview and management, a multiple-engine search box, a web feeds reader, Internationalized Domain Name support (IDN), Extended Validation Certificate support, and an anti-phishing filter. With IE7, Internet Explorer has been decoupled from the Windows Shell—unlike previous versions, the Internet Explorer ActiveX control is not hosted in the Windows Explorer process, but rather runs in a separate Internet Explorer process. It is included with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and is available for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and later. The original release of Internet Explorer 7 required the computer to pass a Windows Genuine Advantage validation check prior to installing, but on October 5, 2007, Microsoft removed this requirement. As some statistics show, by mid-2008, Internet Explorer 7 market share exceeded that of Internet Explorer 6 in a number of regions.

Internet Explorer 8 in Windows 7

Internet Explorer 8 was released on 19 March 2009. It had been in development since August 2007 at the latest. On 5 March 2008, the first public beta (Beta 1) was released to the general public. On 27 August 2008, the second public beta (Beta 2) was released. It is supported in Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 on both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) RC1 was released on 26 January 2009. Internet Explorer 8 “Final” was released on March 19, 2009. Security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, CSS, and Ajax support are Microsoft’s priorities for IE8. It includes much stricter compliance with web standards, including a planned full Cascading Style Sheets 2.1 compliance for the release version. All of these changes allowed Internet Explorer 8 to pass the Acid2 test. However, to prevent compatibility issues, IE8 also includes the IE7 rendering behaviour. Sites that expect IE7 quirks can disable IE8′s breaking changes by including a meta element in the HEAD section of the HTML document. IE8 also includes numerous improvements to JavaScript support as well as performance improvements, although it still does not pass the Acid3 test, with version 8.0 scoring 20/100. It includes support for accelerators, which allow supported web applications to be invoked without explicitly navigating to them; and WebSlices, which allows portions of a page to be subscribed to and monitored from a redesigned Favourites Bar. Other features include InPrivate privacy features and a SmartScreen phishing filter.

Internet Explorer 9 in Windows 7

Internet Explorer 9 was released on 14 March 2011. Development for Internet Explorer 9 began shortly after the release of Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft first announced Internet Explorer 9 at PDC 2009, and spoke mainly about how it takes advantage of hardware acceleration in DirectX to improve the performance of web applications and quality of web typography. At MIX 10, Microsoft showed and publicly released the first Platform Preview for Internet Explorer 9, a frame for IE9′s engine not containing any UI of the browser. Leading up to the release of the final browser, Microsoft released updated platform previews, each featuring improved JavaScript compiling (32-bit version), improved scores on the Acid3 test, as well as additional HTML5 standards support, approximately every 6 weeks. Ultimately, eight platform previews were released. The first public beta was released at a special event in San Francisco, which was themed around “the beauty of the web”. The release candidate was released on February 10, 2011, and featured improved performance, refinements to the UI, and further standards support. The final version was released during the South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival in Austin, Texas, on 14 March 2011.

Internet Explorer 9 is only supported on Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008. It supports several CSS 3 properties (including border-radius, box-shadow, etc.), and embedded ICC v2 or v4 colour profiles support via Windows Color System. The 32-bit version has faster JavaScript performance, this being due to a new JavaScript engine called “Chakra”. It also features hardware accelerated graphics rendering using Direct2D, hardware-accelerated text rendering using DirectWrite, hardware-accelerated video rendering using Media Foundation, imaging support provided by Windows Imaging Component, and high fidelity printing powered by the XPS print pipeline. IE9 also supports the HTML5 video and audio tags and the Web Open Font Format. Internet Explorer 9 initially scored 95/100 on the Acid3 test, but has passed 100/100 since the test was updated in September 2011.

Internet Explorer is set to be available on XBOX 360′s Kinect with testing ongoing.
Internet Explorer 10 running on Windows 8 Developer Preview

Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 10 in April 2011 at MIX 11 in Las Vegas, releasing the first Platform Preview at the same time. At the show, it was said that Internet Explorer 10 was about 3 weeks in development. This release further improves upon standards support, including CSS3 gradients. Internet Explorer 10 drops support for Windows Vista and will only run on Windows 7 and later. Internet Explorer 10 Developer Preview was also released on the Windows 8 Developer Preview platform.

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