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Ten Years of Internet: A Timeline
at 2005-08-19 04:16:43

This week marks the ten year anniversary of the rise of Netscape and the World Wide Web. The Belfast Telegraph's Danny Bradbury has written an Internet timeline showing how the Web changed our lives.

I've briefly listed some of the highlights below, but check out Danny's article for the complete story. I've also used information from a few other published timelines. A list of them along with links are included at the end of this post.


Netscape raises almost 3 billion in capital and makes their user-friendly browser available to ordinary people and begins selling books online. Copuserve and AOL allow users to exchange e-mail. The Altavista search engine launches and Microsoft begins shipping Internet Explorer 1.0 with Windows® 95. Sun lauches Java™ and the Canadian government and the Vatican both set up shop online.

1995 is also the year I started my first Web design and development company, Imagination Plus.


Expedia and Travelocity launch online travel booking services, Yahoo® receives nearly 1 billion in capital, and Netscape lays claim to more than 87% of the Browser market share. Internet phones grab the attention of U.S. telco executives.


AOL apraoches nearly 10 million subscribers, NASA's website receives more than 46 million hits when Pathfinder sends back pictures of Mars. 1997 also saw the first recorded use of the phrase "weblog" to describe an online journal.


1998 saw the rise of search engine giants like Google™. Matt Drudge breaks the Clinton-Lewinsky story on his website Every nation in the World is now online.


Shawn Fanning launches file sharing network Napster. Melissa virus strikes infecting more than a million PC's around the World. The First Bank of Indiana sets up online as the first full-service bank on the Web.


AOL agrees to merge with the media giant Time Warner. The "Love Letter" viral worm propogates throughout the Web to become one of the costliest computer viruses in history. Massive denial of service attacks are launched against major web sites, including Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay. Internet2 backbone network adopts IPv6.


Apple launches the iPod, Microsoft launches Windows® XP with built-in support for Wireless Networks (WiFi). Wikipedia is started. Computer Viri such as Code Red, Nimda, SirCam and BadTrans wreak havoc. And the Taliban-run government in Afghanistan bans Internet access country-wide.

Another personal note: in 2001 I opened a Chicago-based subsidiary of Imagination Plus.


Apple's iPod sales soar to more than a million units. The number of Internet users reaches 428 million while Microsoft enjoys nearly 96% of the Browser market share. Hundreds of Internet radio stations observe a Day of Silence in protest of proposed song royalty rate increases. And maintaining your own blog becomes a cool thing to do. (One last personal note: My U.S. company was renamed and subsequently re-branded as Nolan Interactive, Ltd.)


Taking roughly 10 minutes to spread worldwide, the SQL Slammer worm causes one of the largest and fastest spreading DDoS attacks ever. Some U.S. Internet retailers begin collecting taxes on all purchases, some US states tax Internet bandwidth, and the EU requires all Internet companies to collect value added tax (VAT) on digital downloads. The file sharing application Kazaa becomes the most downloaded software of all time. Apple launches iTunes and Wireless "hotspots" take off.


Google IPO raises 1.7 billion dollars in capital. MyDoom becomes the Internet's worst-ever virus. Internet use surpasses 934 million users Worldwide. Blogging grows to become a global phenominon. News anchor, Dan Rather, resigns after bloggers discredit his Air National Guard Story. A new Blog is born approximately every 7.4 seconds and Network Solutions begins offering 100 year domain registration.


This is the year of citizen journalism, rising broadband and WiFi Internet Access, knock-down drag'em out search engine competition, and Podcasting. And Nolan Interactive moves to New York (yet another personal interjection.) I'm certain there will be lots to add for 2005, let's wait and see...

Other Internet Timelines:

For a Little Fun...

Ever wanted to see what a website looked like 2 or 3 years ago? (Assuming it existed back then.) Check out the Internet Archives Wayback Machine.

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