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Monday, February 17, 2003

Ten Years of Browsers

Wired celebrated the (notional) tenth anniversary of the browser with a Marc Andreessen interview. Happy birthday.

Wired News: Is there a specific anniversary date for the introduction of the first version of the Mosaic browser?

Marc Andreessen: The first alpha version came out in January of 1993, and the first beta version came out in March. But the real launch was in April 1993 when about 10,000 people started using Mosaic..........

WN: If you were to design Mosaic again, what would you do differently?

Andreessen: If I had to do it over again, I'd probably show some sort of graphical representation of a tree, so you could see what path you're traveling on and could backtrack. I'd also include thumbnail renderings on the tree to show where you'd been...........

WN: Of the browsers available today, which do you prefer?

Andreessen: I'm using Mozilla pretty much full time. I switched six or nine months ago. I had been using IE for three or four years before, because it was rendering page views faster. But now Mozilla does it faster.

WN: Well, I guess that's one less person using IE. But overall, do you think it's likely any competing browser will be able to take significant market share away from Microsoft?

Andreessen: Not unless Microsoft is dismantled by the government. I don't think anything can take away share from IE, but I think the open-source alternatives can do just fine in their own way. For Mozilla to be successful, it doesn't need to be used by 80 percent of users. The bigger Microsoft is, the more fired up people are (going) to be working on an open-source alternative.
Source: Wired

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