The following is a history of the Internet Explorer graphical web browser from Microsoft developed over 9 major software versions including 1.0 (1995), 2.0 (1995) 3.0 (1996), 4.0 (1997), 5.0 (1999), 6.0 (2001), 7.0 (2006), 8.0 (2009), and 9.0 (2011), which began public beta testing in September 2010. Internet Explorer has supported Microsoft Windows, but some versions also had an Apple Macintosh version, see Internet Explorer for Mac. For the UNIX version, see Internet Explorer for UNIX. For mobile versions such as Pocket Internet Explorer and versions for Windows CE see Internet Explorer Mobile.
The first Internet Explorer was derived from Spyglass Mosaic. The original Mosaic came from NCSA, but since NCSA was a public entity it relied on Spyglass as its commercial licensing partner. Spyglass in turn delivered two versions of the Mosaic browser to Microsoft, one wholly based on the NCSA source code, and another engineered from scratch but conceptually modeled on the NCSA browser. Internet Explorer was initially built using the Spyglass, not the NCSA source code The license to Microsoft provided Spyglass (and thus NCSA) with a quarterly fee plus a percentage of Microsoft's revenues for the software.
Internet Explorer has been the most widely used web browser since 1999, attaining a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003 with Internet Explorer 5 and Internet Explorer 6. Since its peak of popularity, its usage share has been declining in the face of renewed competition from other web browsers, and is currently 43.55% as of February 2011. Microsoft spent over US$100 million per year on Internet Explorer in the late 1990s, with over 1000 people working on it by 1999.[update]
Since its first release, Microsoft has added features and technologies such as basic table display (in version 1.5); XMLHttpRequest (in version 5), which aids creation of dynamic web pages; and Internationalized Domain Names (in version 7), which allow Web sites to have native-language addresses with non-Latinsource code of Spyglass Mosaic, used without royalty in early versions) and security and privacy vulnerabilities, and both the United States and the European Union have alleged that integration of Internet Explorer with Windows has been to the detriment of other browsers. characters. The browser has also received scrutiny throughout its development for use of third-party technology (such as the
The latest stable release is Internet Explorer 9, which is available as a free update for Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Internet Explorer was to be omitted from Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in Europe, but Microsoft ultimately included it, with a browser option screen allowing users to select any of several web browsers (including Internet Explorer).
Versions of Internet Explorer for other operating systems have also been produced, including an embedded OEM version called Pocket Internet Explorer, later rebranded Internet Explorer Mobile, which is currently based on Internet Explorer 7 and made for Windows Phone 7, Windows CE, and previously Windows Mobile. It remains in development alongside the more advanced desktop versions. Internet Explorer for MacInternet Explorer for UNIX and (Solaris and HP-UX) have been discontinued.