In Pictures: B is for browser - a homage to 12 Web greats

In honor of Mosaic's 20th birthday, join us for an alphabetical appreciation of 12 of history's great windows on the Web.

N's for Netscape Navigator, a polysyllabic spree It ruled the roost for quite a while, till toppled by IE

Andreessen took the spec list he used to build Mosaic at NCSA and started a new company with Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark in 1994. First named Mosaic Communications, it was renamed Netscape Communications after NCSA squawked.

Using entirely new code, the company built Netscape Navigator, a browsing superstar that most of us simply called Netscape (shown here in 1996). It won legions of fans by showing partially downloaded Web pages for instant readability, and by promptly supporting new Web features like frames and JavaScript.

But later releases were sluggish and crash-prone, and Microsoft's free Internet Explorer stole the lead. Facing extinction, Netscape open-sourced its browser code in 1998. Though a proprietary version kicked around until 2008, it was the open version that would rise to glory.

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