Originally Posted by cdyates
The browser is more relevant that ever! Google is betting the farm on it. Everything they've built was designed to run in a browser, or use a browser - and now they've packaged up their very own browser. If you believe even a little of the hype around "cloud computing" and all the related technologies, you know the web browser isn't going anywhere soon.
The browser is walking dead argument surfaced when some people "predicted" that all the great desktop apps would eventually be connected to the net to move, store, and share data, usurping the need for "dumbed-down", browser-based applications.
I think those people might have been wrong.
I think the original poster simply left out the word "Netscape." In that by the time they forced Microsoft to decouple, they had time to improve Explorer to the point of Netscape leading it's significant edge.
Here's my biased view of the browser history:
Between 1992 and 1993
NCSA Mosaic developed on the NeXT (therefore quickly available on on all *nix variants.)
NCSA Mosaic developed for Mac (along with MacWeb, MacWWW (Samba), Cello, etc.)
NCSA Mosaic developed for Windows
Netscape Navigator (1994)
Internet Explorer (1995)
Netscape had a much better browser than Explorer, and was simply kicking Explorer's butt. Microsoft was losing big time when it came to Internet tools in general.
Microsoft starts bundling Explorer. Netscape is so much better that people use it anyway. PC manufacturers want to ship Netscape to make customers happy. Microsoft tells them they won't license Windows to them if they ship Netscape, and they must ship Explorer installed and as default browser. Justice department looks into monopolistic practices.
Microsoft also distributes (for free) FrontPage, so people can make webpages. Webpages made with Frontpage seem to work fine when using Explorer, but often crash Netscape when Netscape tries to load a page created by FrontPage. FrontPage is free, so many pages are developed using Frontpage, making Netscape look more unstable than it actually is. Microsoft pulls the same stunt with MP3 audio files by bundling a version of WindowsMediaPlayer that plays MP3's horribly, but when converted to Microsofts media format, sounds better. Giving people the impression that MP3 is inferior to WMF.
Microsoft works very hard at improving Explorer, and does improve it significantly for version 5. By this time the justice department rules that Microsoft's practices of forcing Netscape out was illegal, but it is too late. The 3 years allowed MS to copy Netscape and dominate the browser market anyway. -Neat! (I won't even get into the copied Quicktime code, and how MS screwed Borland when they decided to get into the developer market, by not publishing known snags (or worse... creating them) that would cause other developer tools to bog down, while the information was given to the Turbo/Visual group.
Oh well... enough conspiracy theory for today....