If one factor has to be pinpointed that has fuelled the use of the Internet and the rise of easy and effective browsing, it is the Internet Explorer. Previously known as the Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer it was developed by Microsoft and included in the MS chain of versions from 1995. Starting as a graphical web browser, it gained fame as an add-on for the Windows 95 operating system released that year. Use of the Internet Explorer reached massive scales when it was available as a free download or as service packs and operating systems included as original equipment manufacturer in service releases of Windows 95 and subsequent versions of Windows.
The rise of Internet Explorer can be gauged by the fact that around 2002 and 2003, the market share had peaked at 95% usage. In the initial stages in the late 90s, Microsoft had more than 1000 people working on the project and almost US$100 million being spent per year on its development. So popular has the Internet Explorer been that various versions of it has been produced and marketed by Microsoft. These include Internet Explorer for Xbox 360 and for other platforms that are not now supported by the company namely those for Mac and UNIX (Solaris and HP-UX). A Pocket Internet Explorer later named as Internet Explorer Mobile has been devised as OEM for Windows Phone and Windows CE.
On March 17, 2015, Microsoft made an announcement that sounded the death knell of Internet Explorer. Microsoft Edge would replace Explorer as the default browser starting Windows 10 even though it remains on Windows 10 only for enterprise purposes. However from 2016, only Internet 11 is being supported by Microsoft.