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1996: The year Microsoft conquered the Internet

A little over a year ago, on Pearl Harbor day 1995, Bill Gates announced Microsoft's Internet strategy. No one took it very seriously, and most people seriously doubted that a company the size of Microsoft would be able to recast themselves for the Internet generation. Everyone pointed at other companies like Apple and IBM that had been unable to successfully change with the times. Others pointed at MSN, Microsoft's proprietary online service, which was, until then, the company's answer to the Internet. It was a joke. Well, a year later, no one is laughing. Microsoft may not be number one in browser sales, e-mail client sales, or in many other major Internet categories, but no one questions the omnipresence of Microsoft on the Net. The shear breadth of Microsoft's Internet product line--mostly created, bought, or updated all this past year, is incredible. The feeding frenzy over Internet Explorer 3.0 the week it was released is symbolic of the average user's desire to identify a strong player they know and trust. For better or worse, it is obvious that Microsoft is that player. Today, Windows is the number one Internet client and the future just looks brighter and brighter as Microsoft's Internet strategy continues to unfold

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