If you were actively geeky during the rise of the Internet, you undoubtedly remember Mosaic. To many, it was the first sign that something worthwhile was out there beyond their own computer. Developed by the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Mosaic was both widely available and refreshingly free of techno mumbo-jumbo. It was the first browser to display text and images together, the first to adopt the layout still favored by today's browsers, and the first to run comparatively easily on Microsoft computers. The Internet itself being in the midst of its coming-of-age party certainly didn't hurt.
Mosaic remained intensely popular for several years and would eventually form the bedrock for the Web's dominant '90s browser.