Design History of Internet Explorer

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has compelling life story and was a principal combatant in both major browser wars. Of course, IE won the first war against Netscape, but lost the second to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.

While most people associate IE with the Windows operating system, Microsoft actually developed versions of the browser for the Macintosh, UNIX, Xbox, and their now-defunct mobile OSes Windows CE and Windows Phone.

At its peak, Internet Explorer was estimated to have over 90% of browser market share in the 2003-2004 period. It's dominance in the early 2000s was a key issue in the US Government's antitrust suit against Microsoft. Fast forward to 2019, and IE has around 2% market share, with it's successor Microsoft Edge also accounting for approximately 2%.

The visual history of Internet Explorer truly matches the evolution of the world wide web itself. Enjoy the ride.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Logo History

Internet Explorer Logo History (2019)

Internet Explorer Logo History (2019)
Source: fandom.com

Internet Explorer 1.0 (1995)

Internet Explorer 1.0 Showing msn.com Homepage (1995)

Internet Explorer 1.0 Showing msn.com Homepage (1995)
Source: wordpress.com

Internet Explorer 1.0 Showing Yahoo.com Homepage (1995)

Internet Explorer 1.0 Showing Yahoo.com Homepage (1995)
Source: pcworld.com

Internet Explorer 1.0 About Dialog Box (1995)

Internet Explorer 1.0 About Dialog Box (1995)
Source: betaarchive.com

Internet Explorer 2.0 (1995)

As one can tell, the default background color for browsers in this time period was gray, rather than white.

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows (1995)

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows (1995)
Source: guidebookgallery.org

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows (Italian) (1995)

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows (Italian) (1995)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows About Dialog (1995)

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows About Dialog (1995)
Source: my-internet-explorer.com

Internet Explorer 3.0 (1996)

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Mac Splash Image (1996)

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Mac Splash Image (1996)
Source: guidebookgallery.org

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows (1996)

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows (1996)
Source: thewindowsclub.com

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows (1996)

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows (1996)
Source: my-internet-explorer.com

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Script Error (1996)

Internet Explorer 3.0 for Script Error (1996)
Source: twitter.com

Internet Explorer 4 (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows (Italian) (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows (Italian) (1997)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows On Desktop (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows On Desktop (1997)
Source: playground.ru

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows Showing Wikipedia (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows Showing Wikipedia (1997)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 4.5 for Mac Splash Image (1999)

Internet Explorer 4.5 for Mac Splash Image (1999)
Source: guidebookgallery.org

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Mac on Mac OS 8 (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Mac on Mac OS 8 (1997)
Source: lowendmac.com

Internet Explorer 4.01 for Mac Showing Yahoo.com (1997)

Internet Explorer 4.01 for Mac Showing Yahoo.com (1997)
Source: macintoshgarden.org

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Unix (Solaris) (1998)

Internet Explorer 4.0 for Unix (Solaris) (1998)
Source: winworldpc.com

Internet Explorer 5 (1999)

Microsoft IE 5 was the last version developed for the Mac platform. Microsoft released 5.2.3 for Mac OS X in June 2003 and 5.1.7 for Mac OS System 8 and 9 in July 2003.

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows Splash Image (1999)

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows Splash Image (1999)
Source: guidebookgallery.org

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows Showing Wikipedia (1999)

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows Showing Wikipedia (1999)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows (1999)

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows (1999)
Source: betaarchive.com

Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac Splash Image (2001)

Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac Splash Image (2001)
Source: guidebookgallery.org

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Mac (1999)

Internet Explorer 5.0 for Mac (1999)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac (2001)

Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac (2001)
Source: wordpress.com

Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac (Japanese) (2001)

Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac (Japanese) (2001)
Source: hatenablog.com

Internet Explorer 6 (2001)

Microsoft IE 6 was the longest-lived version of the browser. Launched in 2001, it didn't get replaced by IE 7 until 2006. Presumably, Microsoft had little incentive to innovate in this area, given their browser market share was north of 80% from 2000 to 2007. Netscape ceased to be a threat in the early 2000s, and it wasn't until Mozilla launched the Firefox browser in 2002 that there was a truly viable alternative to IE 6. Google's Chrome browser wasn't launched until September 2008.

Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP Desktop (2001)

Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP Desktop (2001)
Source: theverge.com

Internet Explorer 6 About Dialog (2001)

Internet Explorer 6 About Dialog (2001)
Source: statetechmagazine.com

Internet Explorer 6 Showing Wikipedia Homepage (2001)

Internet Explorer 6 Showing Wikipedia Homepage (2001)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 6 Showing Wikipedia (Italian) (2001)

Internet Explorer 6 Showing Wikipedia (Italian) (2001)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 7 (2006)

Internet Explorer 7 About Dialog (2006)

Internet Explorer 7 About Dialog (2006)
Source: my-internet-explorer.com

Internet Explorer 7 Showing Wikipedia (Italian) (2006)

Internet Explorer 7 Showing Wikipedia (Italian) (2006)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 7 Tools Menu (2006)

Internet Explorer 7 Tools Menu (2006)
Source: softpedia.com

Internet Explorer 8 (2009)

Internet Explorer 8 About Dialog (2009)

Internet Explorer 8 About Dialog (2009)
Source: my-internet-explorer.com

Internet Explorer 8 Showing Wikipedia (German) (2009)

Internet Explorer 8 Showing Wikipedia (German) (2009)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 8 About Dialog (2009)

Internet Explorer 8 About Dialog (2009)
Source: redmondpie.com

Internet Explorer 9 (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 (2011)
Source: betaarchive.com

Internet Explorer 9 Settings/Internet Options (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 Settings/Internet Options (2011)
Source: blogspot.com

Internet Explorer 9 Multicolored Tabs (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 Multicolored Tabs (2011)
Source: wordpress.com

Internet Explorer 9 New Tab Popular Sites (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 New Tab Popular Sites (2011)
Source: wordpress.com

Internet Explorer 9 InPrivate Mode (2011)

Internet Explorer 9 InPrivate Mode (2011)
Source: blogspot.com

Internet Explorer 10 (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 Welcome Screen (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 Welcome Screen (2012)
Source: refugeeks.com

Internet Explorer 10 Showing Wikipedia (German) (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 Showing Wikipedia (German) (2012)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 10 About Dialog (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 About Dialog (2012)
Source: softpedia.com

Internet Explorer 10 Windows 8 Metro Interface (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 Windows 8 Metro Interface (2012)
Source: digit.in

Internet Explorer 10 Windows 8 Metro Interface (2012)

Internet Explorer 10 Windows 8 Metro Interface (2012)
Source: eightforums.com

Internet Explorer 11 (2013)

Microsoft announced that IE 11 would be the final iteration of this browser, to be replaced with Microsoft's Edge browser.

Internet Explorer 11 Welcome Screen (2013)

Internet Explorer 11 Welcome Screen (2013)
Source: windows10portal.com

Internet Explorer 11 Frequent Sites and About Dialog (2013)

Internet Explorer 11 Frequent Sites and About Dialog (2013)
Source: favbrowser.com

Internet Explorer 11 Showing Wikipedia (2013)

Internet Explorer 11 Showing Wikipedia (2013)
Source: wikipedia.org

Internet Explorer 11 Showing Google (2013)

Internet Explorer 11 Showing Google (2013)
Source: nordvpn.com

Internet Explorer 11 Touch Screen Tab Preview (2013)

Internet Explorer 11 Touch Screen Tab Preview (2013)
Source: arstechnica.com

Internet Explorer for Xbox (2013)

Internet Explorer for Xbox (2013)
Source: xbox.com

Internet Explorer for Xbox (2013)

Internet Explorer for Xbox (2013)
Source: xbox.com