Microsoft Internet Explorer

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Microsoft Internet Explorer
In the summer of 1996 a press-release war that only geeks could love, the Browser Wars, sent disconcerting waves through the Web world. Microsoft was shoving itself onto the Internet with a new Web browser, and running over anything in its path. Rumors abound that Microsoft tried to buy Netscape to solidify its dominance. Plausible, but the purchase never happened, and the Microserfs were forced to play hardball, a game they know well.

When Bill Gates announced Internet Explorer 3’s release in August 1996, he had devised a way to persuade users to click around the Web with his product. He’d get them into popular fee-based sites like the Wall Street Journal and ESPN SportsZone for free through 1997—as long as they shunned Netscape’s Navigator in favor of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

More recently, Paramount’s Star Trek: Continuum site, then produced exclusively for MSN, locked out Netscape users due to “multimedia compatibility issues,” infuriating Trekkies and lawmakers alike. Time-Warner’s Entertaindom also initially barred Netscape users, and now offers IE4 users enhanced sound and graphics. Disney’s Daily Blast is free to MSN members, offers special features to IE4 users, and only works with Windows 95. But the exclusivity strategy may be dead: Last month Paramount withdrew its popular Star Trek and Entertainment Tonight! sites to the open Web, and Disney is poised to do the same.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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