Electronic Design

James H. Clark and Marc Andreessen

Clark and Andreessen (2002)

In 1994, Andreessen was working as a programmer in Silicon Valley. He had recently graduated with a BS in computer science from the University of Illinois where, as a programmer at the university’s National Center for Supercomputer Applications, he had conceived and helped develop the first Internet browser. Named Mosaic, this browser enabled pointand- click Web navigation, reducing the learning curve for Internet use from months to minutes. Within weeks of starting his job, Andreessen received an e-mail from Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics Inc., a manufacturer of high- and middleend workstations, processors, and software for the creation of 3D images. Clark wanted to produce an inexpensive system for interactive television, for which Mosaic could serve as a subscriber interface. Andreessen convinced Clark that the Internet, with millions of new users, offered a better immediate market. The two decided to build an enhanced version of Mosaic and give it away to establish their product as an Internet standard. Later in 1994, Clark and Andreessen co-founded Netscape Communication Corp. and recruited four of the five programmers who had worked with Andreessen on Mosaic. Netscape Navigator was released at the end of that year. It quickly became the Web browser of choice for the great majority of Internet users as well as many corporations that adopted Netscape’s browser and server software as standards for their intranets. Netscape led the technological revolution that transformed the Web from an elite research tool for scientists and researchers into one of the most popular and important media applications in modern time.

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