Netscape Navio is 25 today! It was intended as a Windows rival and a way of counteracting Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows operating system. Hearing about Netscape again brings to mind some of the long-forgotten browsers from the early days of the internet. Get ready for some nostalgia as we take a look at the browsers that time forgot.
Released: December 1996
Netscape Navigator was the original browser for Netscape, once the most popular browser on the planet. It was full of great features, including one certainly taken for granted now: text and images would appear on the page as it loaded; every other web browser at the time would display nothing until everything was loaded, which meant a lot of staring at blank screens.
Released: July 2005
AOL Explorer, previously known as AOL Browser, provided some interesting features for its time including support for tabs, desktop widgets and visual themes. Yet Explorer was short-lived; it was discontinued less than a year after its release, with the last version released in 2006.
Released: May 2007
NetSurf was a free, open source web browser, with its own layout. While it may lack some features that we now expect from modern browsers, it’s lightweight and can run on any PC. Still in existence, its latest release NetSurf 3.0 launched May 2020.
Released: April 2005
Flock specialised in social networking (part of the web 2.0 development of the internet,) allowing users to interact and collaborate. Short-lived, Flock was acquired by Zynga later that year and the browser was discontinued, with support ending in 2011.
Green Browser was based on Internet Explorer’s Trident rendering engine, optimised for low memory so it could work on any older PC. It has since been discontinued.
Released: August 1995
The big one. Developed by Microsoft, Internet Explorer was once the world’s most used browser. It was the default browser on Windows operating systems for many years until a series of antitrust cases forced Microsoft to change its ways. First released in 1995 on Windows 95, Internet Explorer was officially discontinued at the launch of Microsoft Edge in 2015. Its demise will be complete in 2022 when Microsoft support will end. In the web development community. Few tears will be shed.
Released: August 2000
The K-Meleon browser was designed with the Gecko layout engine (an open source web browser layout engine) with the goal to provide a fast and reliable web browser with an interface that could be highly customised. K-Meleon was offered within Microsoft Windows in 2010, and although it only has a tiny market share, it’s still around today.
Maxthon is a cross-platform browser (supporting desktop and mobile.) It’s a good choice if you like the feel and user experience of Internet Explorer but have a Windows 10 operating system where Explorer isn’t an option. Warning: This internet browser isn’t very effective at stopping malware downloads or blocking phishing schemes, so use a third-party antivirus program with it to stay safe.
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