Relive the 1990's World Wide Web

On the 15th March 1985, technology company Symbolics registered the very first .com domain name - - which in 2015 marks its 30th birthday.

In the year of Live Aid and the release of Back to the Future, the dot com bandwagon started slowly, with only a handful of companies initially registering a domain. The first to get involved were largely technology companies, as you might expect, and included the likes of Intel and Siemens through the mid-to-late 1980's. Fast forward over ten years, and the millionth dot com domain name was registered in 1997, well into the boom of the internet.

As we look back over the past 30 years of the internet, The Open University have used the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to go back in time to the beginning of many of the world's most popular websites. Back in the mid-1990's, Netscape Navigator led the browser wars, initially staying ahead of the first versions of Internet Explorer.

Let's re-live the 1990's web in all its glory... - 1998

The 1998 Apple website is clean, organised, and well put together - just as you might expect of Apple. The iMac is introduced as the "most radical idea in personal computing since the Macintosh".


The website continues, "It's a good thing there's no law against a company having a monopoly of good ideas. Otherwise Apple would be in deep yogurt for the ideas that Steve Jobs shared with the crowd at Apple's Flint Center auditorium Tuesday, May 6th" - 1997

The Boeing website of the late 90's showcases their latest fleet of commercial airliners - including the "next-generation" Boeing 737-700. - 1997

HP give a fascinating insight into the technology challenges of the 1990's, introducing their Year 2000 Solutions, and showcasing the range of small business computing available at the time. - 1996

Xerox were clearly a big fan of the gif even as early as 1996. The Xerox website goes as far as to introduce the 'document' itself - "The document is the single most important vehicle for the transmission of information between people". - 1997

Another technology company early on the .com bandwagon was Intel; using their 1997 website to talk about the latest in 90's mobile computing, and promoting "cool PC software" on their website.

And of course, The Open University - 1997

Although The Open University's original domain was registered later than some of the others mentioned, we couldn't truly relive the 90's web without checking out from 1997.

The Open University has offered distance education and been at the forefront of technology in learning for a long time, and even in the 90's this was evident. The Open University MBA made up a significant part of this young OU website, which has since gone on to become triple-accredited and world-renowned.


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11 March, 2015 - 15:57