It’s hard to imagine a time without the internet. When we read newspapers and watched the evening news to stay on top of world events, when we wrote letters and chatted on the phone, and when Amazon was just a river in South America.
But it wasn’t long ago, on April 30, 1993, when the World Wide Web went live—and free!—to everyone. To ring in the internet’s 27th birthday, we can reflect on its humble beginnings and celebrate all that we’re able to do with this incredible public tool.
How well do you know the internet?
- Tim Berners initially developed the WWW as a way for scientists, developers, and academics to share knowledge quickly with colleagues around the world.
- Berners also developed the uniform resource locator (URL), HTML, and HTTP that make web development and navigation possible.
- CERN, the research lab where Berners worked, placed the WWW in the public domain and gave up all intellectual property rights making the internet free to everyone.
- Microsoft released Internet Explorer in 1995 and within 10 years had over 95% of the market share of browsers.
And now? People who were never able to travel can read travel blogs, view photographs, and even do virtual tours of the world’s great cities. Friends can track down elementary school classmates, important colleagues, or even old loves. We have access to great works of literature as well as breaking news. We can ask for help with homework, cooking, directions, and job hunts. And we can view, read, engage, and share all for free thanks to the good work of CERN and Sir Tim Berners 27 years ago.