Today marks a pretty incredible thing, the Internet, that World Wide Web thingy powering your visit to reading this post, has being doing so now for 25 years old, that’s right in 1991, the team led by Tim Berners-Lee worked alongside Steve Jobs founded company NeXT, connected for the first time, the Internet as we know it today. 25 years ago today, the first public Web Page made it’s debut, this is it below;
Of course the “creation” of the Internet was much further back than that, we’re talking as early as the 1950s when the Internet was being thought up for use, mainly as a database sharing tool, but when it comes to the 90s is where the Internet became the World Wide Web as we know it today, a way of accessing HTML pages through a Web Browser.
Whilst being invented in 1989, the first Web Browser was developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 using a NeXT Cube computer, and given a years time, the very Web Browser he’d created made it’s first public protocol connection in what became the phenomenon the World Wide Web is today.
The World Wide Web
Of course the intention of the Internet from the beginning, and the intentions of the World Wide Web, was to be a portal to information that could be accessed anywhere around the world and use. Of course the power of which this could deliver was never going to be realised at the time, but it’s more than fair to say the World Wide Web is a world wide-away from what it was in the early 90s.
Whilst the start of the Internet was just filled with barely Rich Text Format text and uninspiring graphics, all of which connected through hyperlinks as it is today, it was far from even colour at the time, as that was one of the limitations of the NeXT Cube at the time, which traded colour for performance and efficiency due to it being a professional machine.
One of the biggest things to come from the Internet in the early 2000s was introduced by Macromedia, known as at the time Shockwave Flash, now since Macromedia was purchased by Adobe, known as Adobe Flash. Whilst Flash has always been a proprietary format by Adobe, the way it’s affected the Internet was clear, it allowed the production of online games within the Web Browser, audio and video streaming, most popular of which was the introduction of YouTube in 2005, and even the introduction of entire Flash websites which could take navigation and entertainment to the next level, previously only possible by installed Games via CD-ROM.
WAP (The Internet of then “dumb-phones”)
Who remembers browsing the “Internet” as it was laughably called and getting results such as this. This is one of the many Carrier powered services you could get on your then Mobile Phone in the early the mid 2000s, known at the time as WAP, essentially “baby Internet”. Using WAP, users could download Music Ringtones, Pictures, catch up on News and the most popular was to Download and Buy Games.
Whilst it’s probably laughable to look at today, the service worked rather well, especially on a GPRS (2G) signal, plus their was mainly no charge for using the service which was rather nice at the time. Thankfully the world has moved on though, but it’s funny to look back at what was, especially as it was very Carrier controlled.
iTunes Store (Legal Music)
In 2003, Apple launched a new service exclusive to their Mac OS X platform at the time, iTunes. The main reason for this move was a new movement of P2P file sharing services, which whilst was allowing users around the world to share any content they had, this began a very big era of online piracy, something which had no control, and to be fair had no legal solution, this is what iTunes became, and became one of the biggest impacts on the real world industries the World Wide Web had. The Internet has continued today to revolutionise the way we now download Movies and TV Shows, Games, Books and even Updates to Operating Systems.
2005 Onward (Mid to Late 2000s)
Alongside a massive wave of Plug-ins and competitive players to iTunes, such as Apple’s own QuickTime taking over Movie Trailers across the Internet, the World Wide Web was ready again for more evolution.
Throughout the 2000s, anyone who had an active Internet connection, whether it was going from Dial Up, thankfully moving on to Broadband, whether Cable or DSL, likely had either a Yahoo! AIM Account or a Microsoft MSN Account, all of which were used for what had become a worldwide phenomenon allowing users to instantly message and even Video Call anyone instantly around the world, for free, providing both parties were online, something which we now take highly for granted was insane in the mid 2000s.
Despite Facebook being created in 2004, and MySpace which it practically copied being founded in 2003, it wasn’t until 2005 onwards until the Internet, especially the younger community began an addiction to something no one expected would take off, yet look at us today, Social Networking. The idea of joining a website along with your friends and then to literally just share what you’re doing at any given time, in between literally seeing what your friends are sharing at the same time, even now reading that out seems like the dumbest thing in the world, but who knew we were all so narcissistic!
Naturally since then Social Networks have grown, not only in options, but in functionality, you can now play Games, and there’s even Social Networks dedicated to sharing just Images like Instagram, or potential d*** pics on Snapchat … we know that’s not it’s reason but what can we say those leaks make you think otherwise. Don’t worry, anyone of my followers on Snapchat, you won’t be getting mine and don’t send me yours!
But, one thing we can be sure of, Social Networking is here to stay. I mean it says a lot when I personally got engaged, the first thing we could think about what changing our Relationship status from ‘In a Relationship’ to ‘Engaged’, it’s sad, but the world we’ve let ourselves get to.
Ok, here we go, the obligatory iPhone changed the world post is coming up, be prepared for it, but before you stop with your stupidity, just look at the WAP post above, then back at the iPhone and you’ll see just what a difference it made.
Sure, their was Smartphones before, enter Blackberry and Windows Mobile, but they too were using WAP browsers, something you can’t deny, browsers like Opera Mini are NOT browsers, Safari on the iPhone, was, and that’s what came to us in 2007.
In 2008 that step went even further with the iPhone’s App Store. Again, their was services like GetJar online which was an App Store collective of the many Java Games you could install on your devices, but I’m sorry, none of them even compared, then once the Android Market (now Google Play) was introduced on Android by the end of 2008 (or 2009 internationally), it was set, mobile devices would never be the same, and it would all take place online.
Fast forward to today…
Whilst the biggest change to how we use the Internet may not have changed that much since 2008 with the whole Smartphone game, we have had some minor changes along the way, which we’ll mention briefly;
– Despite a brief release in 2003, it’s clear Steam has changed the way most people download Games to their PCs (Windows, macOS or Linus)
– HTML5 has completely changed the way Plug-ins are handled online, led closely by the lack of inclusion of Flash on Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone due to it’s lack of performance for battery life and lacking support for touch.
– The way we use the Internet has transformed as well, whereas we naturally begun tied to a Desk, then on our lap with a Laptop, the majority of consumers now use the Internet exclusively on either a Tablet or their Smartphone meaning a massive change to the way Web developers build websites.
Whilst, we naturally could have kept going, gone further in to detail and more, we’ll let those nuts who like writing Novels and Books (naturally available via PDF or some Books format for my Devices right).
But it’s hard not to wow how far we’ve come, just 25 years of the World Wide Web, 25 years of people typing www. seems like an insane number of years, but at the same time it’s like it was just yesterday. One thing which will be incredible, is seeing how we browse the Internet in the next 25.