If you were around for the beginning of the World Wide Web, you probably remember exploring early websites with that iconic old browser. Once the undisputed champion of surfing the web, Netscape Navigator grew in popularity when Netscape Communications began offering the software to download for free in the mid-90s, and provided floppy disks and later CDs of the browser for sale as well (remember those “getting started on the Internet” books that came with Netscape Navigator CDs?).
Throughout the 90s, Netscape Navigator was ubiquitous, the de facto way to access the web. But their reign didn’t last long.
Microsoft was determined to take over the browser market with their Internet Explorer. But they were up against some stiff competition, so they needed to come up with aggressive tactics. What they did come up with was pretty ingenuous (though maybe not quite legal): they prepackaged Internet Explorer along with every Windows 95, and presented it to their customers as the only way to get online. In fact, even today, many people who aren’t computer-savvy conflate Internet Explorer with the Internet itself.