Arithmetic Language version 0 was created by legendary computer pioneer Grace Hopper in the early 1950s. It was the first compiler ever made for an electronic computer, and was written for the the UNIVAC I, which Hopper also had a hand in developing. She began developing A-0 in 1951, and new versions led to the A-2 compiler being released to customers in 1953. A-0 later evolved into MATH-MATIC and FLOW-MATIC, but were essentially newer versions of the original. The use of compilers is now synonymous with software development, and an endless variety grew out of Hopper’s original ideas.
Launched in 2010 as a closed beta, Pinterest allowed users to gather, organize, and collect images referred to as “pins” by posting them on personalized pages called “boards”. It was conceptualized in December 2009 by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra, using concepts related to visual bookmarking. After the introduction of the iPhone app, it exploded in popularity, landing on Time Magazine’s Best Websites list a few short months later. After the launch of Pinterest Mobile and the iPad app, the site topped 11 million hits per week, jumping into the top ten social networking services. A short time later it was the fastest site in history to break the 10 million view mark. Pinterest continues to remain popular as of 2015, and is currently developing and introducing new features to the service.
Vine was founded in 2012 and in just a few short months was acquired by Twitter after becoming immensely popular with teens and young adults. Created by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll, it allowed users to create short videos up to six seconds long. In January 2013 it was launched on iOS, followed a few months later by the Android and Windows Phone version. It quickly became the most used video sharing app and was soon the number one most downloaded free app in the Apple App Store. Vine Kids was launched in 2015, in direct response to criticism on how pornography was handled, which lead to the app being rated for 17+ users by Apple.
Developed in 1992 at the University of Kansas, Lynx was a text based hypertext tool for use as part of a campus wide information server and as a Gopher browser. It was released to UseNet in July, and later added an internet interface the following year. Support for other protocols including FTP, HTTPS, and others were added over the years as well as several forks and variations of the original code, including ports to Amiga and VMS platforms in the mid 90s. Although it later fell out of mainstream use with the advent of GUI based graphics and browsers, Lynx is the oldest internet browser still actively in development and in use today in most modern Linux distributions.
Microsoft’s Exchange Server was born out of the company’s move from a Xenix based messaging system to a new client-server based application that delivered electronic mail, calendaring, contacts, and tasks. This was originally used internally as Exchange Server Beta 1, and by April of 1996, a large portion of the company’s internal users were using the product.
The original public version, Exchange Server 4.0, was released on June 11th, 1996 as an upgrade to Microsoft Mail 3.5. It was based on an entirely new system and model, utilizing X.500 directory services which eventually moved to Active Directory with Microsoft’s creation of the LDAP directory service.
Exchange Server went through several versions throughout the years, and eventually gained a dominant foothold as the de-facto messaging system for corporate e-mail and messaging. Exchange 5.0 was released on May 23rd, 1997, followed by 5.5 in November. Exchange 2000 arrived in November, 2000 and was followed by Exchange 2003 on September 28th, 2003. The current versions are Exchange 2007 released on November 30th, 2006 and the latest release, Exchange 2010, was made available on November 9th, 2009.
Founded in February 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, all three having worked for PayPal at the time. Venture firm Sequoia Capital invested $11.5 million in 2005, helping fund the startup, who’s early headquarters was above a pizzeria in California. The domain name was registered in Feburary of 2005, and development was done over the next few months. After a public beta test in May, it was officially launched in November. The first video uploaded was by Jawed Karim entitled “Me At the Zoo” on April 23rd, 2005 and is still on the site.
By July 2006, 65,000 videos a day were being uploaded with over 100 million video views.It is estimated the site consumed as much bandwidth as the internet in 2000. By 2008, bandwidth costs were a staggering one million per day.
Within a year of it’s launch in October 2006, Google purchased the site for 1.65 billion in Google stock. Although criticized for failing to protect copyrighted material, YouTube is now the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43 percent and more than six billion videos viewed in January 2009.
Twitter was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, who at the time worked for the podcasting company Odeo. Inspired by TXTMob, it later became a massively popular social networking and microblogging site. Users post text based messages of up to 140 characters on their pages via the site or a mobile device such as a cell phone, which can then be followed by other members. The concept included the mobile aspect early on, and it went through several name changes before work began in March, 2006. The act of posting a message became known as a “tweet”. The first tweet was sent by Jack Dorsey on March 21st, 2006 at 9:50pm PST: “Just setting up my twttr.”
Used as a prototype by Odeo employees, it was later publicly launched in July and became a separate company in 2007. Most agree the biggest public surgence of Twitter popularity was at the 2007 South By Southwest festival, where Twitter displayed real time Twitter messages on 60 inch plasma screens. They won the festival’s Web Award that year.
Today, Twitter’s massive popularity has brought celebrities, politicians, athletes and more to the online world where the public can get an unparalleled view into their personal lives. The site has become so popular, some are addicted to ‘tweeting’, as it’s known, and the number of different Twitter pages range from the fascinating to the completely ludicrous. Twitter is stronger than it ever was today and appears ready to continue on into the future.
In 2004, the first official version of the popular Firefox browser was released. Finally out of beta, it began slowly taking away market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which development of had been stagnant for four years.
Born from the Mozilla Project launched by Netscape in 1998, Firefox took the world by storm because of it’s security and features, breaking IE’s stranglehold on the browser market as it’s share slipped below 95 percent for the first time in years.
In 1999, Shawn Fanning created a peer to peer file sharing program called Napster that let people share files by sharing and swapping files from a centralized server using the client software. It became the hottest P2P network on the planet, especially for music, and took the internet world by storm. By Feb 2001, it boasted 50 million users and was slammed with lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America and several artists. In Jan that same year, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Napster must stop it’s activities. The golden days of the P2P file sharing boom were over. In Feb the company offered a $1 billion settlement to the music industry, and has since re-emerged as a monthly subscription service.
Internet Explorer is Microsoft’s world wide web browser, and the name for a set of Internet-based technologies that provide browsing, email, collaboration and multimedia features to millions of people around the world. It’s a four-year old product that has received glowing reviews from end users and the media, harsh criticism from Microsoft’s competitors and the anti-Microsoft crowd, and it is one of the cornerstones of an ongoing anti-trust trial that the Department of Justice has brought against Microsoft. It remains a testament to Microsoft’s ability to turn it’s product strategy on a dime, it is used by millions upon millions of users navigate the World Wide Web, and it has emerged the victor in the long-standing browser wars with Microsoft’s competitor, Netscape Corporation.