Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows
Internet Explorer, commonly abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a series of
graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of
the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, starting in 1995. It
was first released as part of the add-on package Plus! for Windows 95
that year. Later versions were available as free downloads, or in
service packs, and included in the OEM service releases of Windows 95
and later versions of Windows.
Internet Explorer is one of the most widely used web browsers, attaining
a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003. Its usage share
has since declined with the launch of Firefox (2004) and Google Chrome
(2008), as well as with the growing popularity of operating systems such
as OS X, Linux and Android that do not run Internet Explorer. Estimates
for Internet Explorer's overall market share range from 27.4% to 54.13%,
as of October 2012 (browser market share is notoriously difficult to
calculate). Microsoft spent over US$100 million per year on Internet
Explorer in the late 1990s, with over 1000 people working on it by 1999.
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