3dfx Interactive was founded in 1994 as an OEM supplier of video graphics manufacturers and for a time was THE graphics company of the 90s. In 1996, the famous Voodoo card was introduced, putting 3dfx at the top of the video card heap with it’s then cutting edge video acceleration. It notably lacked an onboard VGA controller, but that didn’t stop gamers from using the card to get the latest and greatest video performance. The video game Quake by id Software helped propel the Voodoo cards into popularity which was designed with the card in mind.
Other 3dfx cards included the Voodoo Rush in 1997, Voodoo 2 and Voodoo Banshee in 1998, and subsequently, Voodoo 3, 4, and 5. In 1997, 3dfx was involved in a very public battle with Sega over the development of the next gen Dreamcast console. The company declined in the late 90s due to many debatable reasons, and was acquired by it’s rival NVIDIA in early 2000.
Released in 1994 by Netscape Communications Inc as Mosaic and Mosaic Netscape, it was created by former members of the team that created the original Mosaic web browser. Version 1.0 appeared at the height of the internet craze, becoming the dominant browser and forcing Mosaic into obscurity. It soon became the primary browser on Windows platforms, readily made available across the web and in trade magazines.
Navigator held 90% of the browser market throughout the decade until Microsoft saw the potential of having the de-facto internet browser. They licensed parts of Mosaic and incorporated that into what became known as Internet Explorer, sparking what is popularly referred to as the “browser wars” today.
By 1998, IE had stolen Navigator’s thunder, causing it’s market share to plummet. Later, the 4.x versions of the browser became buggy, crash prone, and suffered compatibility problems. Microsoft’s heavy marketing and branding strategy paid off, putting Internet Explorer into the hands of more users with their influence and reach. In 1998 Netscape was acquired by AOL. Development continued until it was officially retired in 2008.
Officially called Netscape Communications Corporation, Netscape was founded by James H. Clark and Marc Andreessen in 1994. It revolutionized the computer software market by giving away for free its popular Navigator Web browser until it had acquired an overwhelming market share for this category of software. This strategy is now used by many other software companies, including Microsoft, which also distributes its Web browser, Internet Explorer, for free.
In addition to its browsers, Netscape also produces Web servers and tools for building intranets. Indeed, its in the server category that Netscape gets most of its revenue. The company was bought by AOL a few years later.
Short for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle, Yahoo! is a World Wide Web directory started by David Filo and Jerry Yang at Stanford University. The two began compiling and categorizing Web pages in 1994. By 1996, they had one of the most popular Web sites.
In October 1994, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Laboratory for Computer Science [MIT/LCS] in collaboration with CERN, where the Web originated, with support from ARPA and the European Commission.
In April 1995, INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique) became the first European W3C host, followed by Keio University of Japan (Shonan Fujisawa Campus) in Asia in 1996. In 2003, ERCIM (European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics) took over the role of European W3C Host from INRIA. W3C also pursues an international audience through its Offices worldwide.