In Pictures: The 10 most important milestones in Web browser history

Okay, say you have this shiny new car. It looks great, it performs like a demon, it features all the latest safety gadgets, and it's crawling with creature comforts. Just one problem, though. The local tinkerer, clearly consumed by jealousy, comes by sometime during the night to disassemble the entire thing. Sitting in the middle of a zillion bits and pieces the next morning, you quickly realize how totally useless this marvelously complicated car has become. This is the Internet without a browser. Far more than the blank slate it appears to be, a Web browser is ridiculously sophisticated and entirely capable of morphing the code-crazed reality of the Internet into the Matrix-like façade we now can't live without.

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Netscape Navigator, 1994 "Best if viewed in Netscape" was a common sighting in the early days of surfing—and for good reason. Netscape's Navigator was for all intents and purposes the successor to Mosaic, and built by much of the same team. Steered by Marc Andreessen, Mosaic's leading hand, Netscape Navigator improved greatly on the Mosaic formula and made the Internet a colorful, vibrant place. It supported on-the-fly page loading and catered not to hoity-toity university-level connectivity but to the 14.4-kbps dial-up modem of Joe Average. And it was available everywhere, pushed by just about every entity that had a stake in widespread Internet adoption. What more could an early webstronaut want?

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In Pictures: The 10 most important milestones in Web browser history

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