What are Web Browsers and Browser software

Posted on 04 February 2014

Browsers software also known as a web browser is each software application that retrieves and presents cross information resources on the World Wide Web. Each information resource is called a Uniform Resource Identifier a.k.a. a URL. It can be a entire web page or a single image, video, etc. Basically, web browsers are our gateway to the infinite world of the Internet.

Appearance of Browsers software

The first web browsing utility was initially called WorldWideWeb. It was invented back in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Later on, WorldWideWeb was renamed to Nexus. However the “world's first popular browser” that actually made World Wide Web system accessible and user-friendly was Mosaic (later Netscape).

In 1995 Microsoft respond to other IT companies and release Internet Explorer. It takes 7 year to reach its peak, 95% market share, in 2002. Over the years lots of web browsing solutions appeared on the market such as Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Apple's Safari, Google Chrome, etc.

In December 2011, Google Chrome leave behind Internet Explorer 8 and became leader on the web browser category.

Browsers software application

The main purpose function of web browsers is to deliver information resources to user and allow them view info and then access additional data by navigation or following links. Each URL (link) comes with a prefix. The most commonly used it “http:” (HTTP) i.e. http://softplanet.com. However most browsers support other types of prefixes like “https:” (HTTPS), “ftp:” (File Transfer Protocol) and “file:” (local files). There are some prefixes that web browsers cannot handle and they pass them to 3rd party applications. For instance, “mailto:” URLs are usually redirected to the default email client.

Browsers software GUI components

There might be very different web browsers out there, but they all have common graphical user interface components:

  • Back and Forward buttons – enables users to navigate across visited resources;

  • Refresh/Reload button – reload the entire resource content;

  • Stop button – enables user to stop page loading when they decide;

  • Home button – allows users to go back to a predefined home page;

  • Address bar – the place where users enter the URL (Uniform Resource Identifier);

  • Search bar – a new interface component available with most modern browsers that allows you to input terms into a default search engine;

  • Status bar – displays the current progress in loading resources as well as URLs of links;

  • Viewport – the entire visible area within the web browser window.

Please be aware that there are software solutions such as Google Chrome that come with a built-in search functionality right into the Address bar.

Nowadays there are several web browsing solutions that deliver proper user experience. Such applications are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Apple Safari, etc.

Please check out our Browsers software category and you will find great complementary programs as well.

You May Also Like