Tuesday, 12 August 2014 06:05

Microsoft reproduces its first web page Featured

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Twenty years on, Microsoft has rebuilt the first web page it put on the newfangled World Wide Web thingy.

The year is 1994. Paul Keating is Prime Minister and Bill Hayden is Governor-General. Forrest Gump is wowing them at the box office. Nelson Mandela becomes South African president. The Channel Tunnel links England and France. OJ Simpson does his freeway flee in his white Ford Bronco.

And tech giant Microsoft, a little late on the scene, builds its first web page. It was pretty basic by modern standards, but state of the art back then. It even offered a text only version for people whose Internet connections were not fast enough to support graphics (3.6 kbps was considered quick back then).

Now Microsoft has rebuilt it, just as it was back in 1994, when today’s teenagers weren’t even born. It has links to a dozen or more Microsoft products and services (those on the rebuilt site through to contemporary pages).

Mark Ingalls, was the first administrator of Microsoft.com. “There wasn’t much for authoring tools,” he says in a Microsoft blog describing the site. “There was this thing called HTML that almost nobody knew.” Information that was submitted for the new Microsoft.com website often came to Ingalls via floppy disks.

“For a while, we ran the site like a newspaper, where we published content twice a day. And if you missed the cut-off for the publishing deadline, you didn’t get it published until the next running of the presses, or however you want to term it.”

Check it out at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/discover/1994/

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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