from the MAX-FORWARDS dept.
Twenty years ago today (13 October 1994), Mosaic Communications Corporation released the Mosaic Navigator, the first commercial browser for the World Wide Web. This was just six months after the company was founded by ex-Silicon Graphics CEO Jim Clark, and Marc Andreesen, a recent computer science graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Andreesen had co-developed the Mosaic Web browser while working for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), on UIUC's campus; Clark, who had been losing a power struggle at Silicon Graphics, the company he'd founded, was restless and looking for an adventure and revenge. Andreesen quickly convinced the band of programmers from UIUC he'd worked with on Mosaic and web server development, to relocate to Silicon Valley.
Both the company and the browser were re-branded 'Netscape' a month after the product was released, settling a lawsuit by the UIUC, who regarded Mosaic as intellectual property belonging to the university.
Bill Gates broadcast his famous "Internet Tidal Wave" memo to the troops at Microsoft in May 1995. Internet Explorer 1.0 was released in August 1995; future versions of IE were bundled with Windows 95, as Microsoft tried (rather successfully) to "cut off Netscape's air supply", as Microsoft Vice President Paul Maritz is alleged to have ranted at the time. Microsoft's actions against Netscape and numerous other competitors in the software industry became the subject of an antitrust suit brought by the US Department of Justice.