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.

I is for IE, which sounds kind of like a scream Depending on the version, it's a good or a bad dream

Netscape and AOL stoked the furnaces of the Web, and every forward-thinking tech company wanted a piece of the action. Enter Microsoft in the summer of 1995 with its own browser.

Based on a Mosaic clone, Internet Explorer started out as a weak competitor to Netscape, but for the next few years, the two browsers leapfrogged each other in stability and support for new -- often proprietary, standard-breaking -- technologies. (Shown here: 1999's IE5.)

Meanwhile, a copy of IE was bundled into every Windows computer sold, and the 1998 U.S. v. Microsoft antitrust lawsuit did little to curb IE's spread. A decade into its life, IE6 was at the top of the tree with an 83% market share. But it wasn't destined to stay there forever.

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