Internet Explorer

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Here is a list of common browsers currently in use, including details about their current popularity and known issues to consider when programming for compatibility. Downloadable versions of most browsers are available from

List of browsers

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer (IE), is a web browser made by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. It has been the most widely-used web browser since 1999.

Criticisms: Internet Explorer has received lots of criticism over the years.

  • In 1998 they were taken to court for abusing monopoly power in its handling of operating system sales and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. Bundling them together is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft's victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of Internet Explorer.
  • Internet Explorer makes it difficult to have code in place in HTML documents that conforms to W3C standards, and have it still look right.


Mozilla Firefox is a open-source, cross-platform web browser which is developed by the Mozilla Corporation and a large community of external developers. It includes advanced features such as tabbed browsing, incremental find, pop-up blocking, live bookmarking and a download manager. It is also highly customisable allowing downloadable extensions, themes plugins and advanced preferences. It also has extensive support for most Web standards.

The latest version can be downloaded from the Mozilla Site

Firefox Add-ons

Although not an extensive list, here are some useful plug-ins that are useful when setting up and maintaining websites:

  • Web Developer - A great tool for changing screen size, disabling and listing all elemetns of a website, editing within the browser.


Netscape was considered the main rival to Internet Explorer before recent browser releases such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera and other browsers. The Official Netscape Browser ceased production in late 2007.


Browser Timeline (2008-1995)

This is a summary of release years for common browsers since 1995. If a browser has multiple releases during the specified year, the most recent, up to date release will be listed.

Browser Timeline
Year Internet Explorer (Win) Internet Explorer (Mac) Netscape Safari Mozilla Firefox Opera
2009 Internet Explorer 8 RC 1
2008 Private Internet Explorer 8 Beta Firefox 3.0
2007 Internet Explorer 7 Netscape Browser 9. *Ceased production in late 2007* Safari 3.0 Firefox 2.0 Opera 9.25
2006 Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 Netscape Browser 8.1 Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 Opera 9.0
2005 Netscape Browser 8.0 Safari 2.0.2, 2.0 (Safari RSS), 1.3 Firefox 1.5 Opera 8.5, 8.0
2004 Netscape 7.2 Safari 1.2 Mozilla Firefox 1.0, 0.8 Opera 7.6 Alpha
2003 Netscape 7.1 Safari 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.8 Mozilla Firebird Opera 7.0
2002 Netscape 7.0 N/A Phoenix Beta Opera 7.0 Beta
2001 Internet Explorer 6.0 Internet Explorer 5.1 Netscape 6.2, 6.1 N/A Opera 6.0
2000 Internet Explorer 5.5 Internet Explorer 5.0 Netscape 6.0 N/A N/A Opera 5.0, 4.0
1999 Internet Explorer 5.0 Internet Explorer 4.5 N/A N/A Opera 3.6
1998 Internet Explorer 5.0 Beta Internet Explorer 4.0 Netscape Navigator 4.5 N/A N/A Opera 3.5
1997 Internet Explorer 4.0 Internet Explorer 3.0 Netscape Navigator 4.0 N/A N/A Opera 3.0
1996 Internet Explorer 3.0 Internet Explorer 2.1, 2.0 Netscape Navigator 3.0, 2.0 N/A N/A Opera 2.1, 2.0
1995 Internet Explorer 2.0, 1.0 Netscape Navigator 1.2, 1.1 N/A N/A MultiTorg Opera (not public)

Web trends

This is a list of browser popularity taken from various sources. As seen by the trends, statistics of this measure often vary greatly and are to be seen only as a guide.

Statistics sources
Browser W3Schools[1] (12/2007) Upsdell[2] (12/2007) Avocado Consulting[3] (01/2006) WebSideStory
Mozilla/Firefox/Netscape 37.7% ~22% 3.27%
IE5.xx 1.7% ~3% 3.92%
IE6.xx 33.2% ~35% 69.59%
IE7.xx 21.0% ~30%
Opera 1.4% 0.34%
Safari 1.7% 0.46%

See also

External links


Browser trends

Official browser sites

Wikipedia links

Browser plugins