Mosaic, originally developed by the National Center for SuperComputing Applications, was one of the first web "browsers" out there. It was originally developed for Windows, Macintosh, and the X-Windows system. Even though it was started in 1991, the developers canned the project in 1995 (with far superior commercial browsers out on the market, they completed their mission to make the web viewable. It is now open-source for people to view and to modify (if you qualify).

Mosaic was not the precursor to Netscape (as some people think, as Netscape came "next") but rather Microsoft's Internet Explorer; Netscape was a clean, developed from main() codebase. Mosaic spawned a clone called SpyGlass from which the Internet Explorer codebase was originally started. In the Help...About Microsoft Internet Explorer menu option in IE5, Microsoft gives credit to the NCSA at UIUC, and specifically mentions Mosaic.

Mosaic is preserved for all of net history at:

Here's my recollection of how Mosaic turned into Internet Explorer:

Microsoft licensed a customizable version of Mosaic from Spyglass, and marketed it as Internet Explorer. As part of their marketing strategy in the infamous browser wars, they decided to dump the browser on the market for free (you could actually purchase web browsers back then). Now Microsoft was supposed to pay Spyglass a fee on a per-copy-distributed basis, which would mean that MS would actually be paying for people to use their (now free) browser. But according to a Spyglass executive, MS failed to actually honor the agreement, by not actually bothering to pay.

Spyglass was vocal about suing Microsoft-- for about a week. Then, as suddenly as it had appeared, the story dropped. But I'm sure that there was not a pay-off-- I mean settlement-- involved.

Mo*sa"ic (?), n. [F. mosaique; cf. Pr. mozaic, musec, Sp. & Pg. mosaico, It. mosaico, musaico, LGr. , , L. musivum; all fr. Gr. belonging to the Muses. See Muse the goddess.]

1. Fine Arts

A surface decoration made by inlaying in patterns small pieces of variously colored glass, stone, or other material; -- called also mosaic work.


A picture or design made in mosaic; an article decorated in mosaic.


© Webster 1913.

Mo*sa"ic, a.

Of or pertaining to the style of work called mosaic; formed by uniting pieces of different colors; variegated; tessellated; also, composed of various materials or ingredients.

A very beautiful mosaic pavement. Addison.

Florentine mosaic. See under Florentine. -- Mosaic gold. (a) See Ormolu. -- (b) Stannic sulphide, SnS2, obtained as a yellow scaly crystalline powder, and used as a pigment in bronzing and gilding wood and metal work. It was called by the alchemists aurum musivum, or aurum mosaicum. Called also bronze powder. -- Mosaic work. See Mosaic, n.


© Webster 1913.

Mo*sa"ic, a. [From Moses.]

Of or pertaining to Moses, the leader of the Israelites, or established through his agency; as, the Mosaic law, rites, or institutions.


© Webster 1913.

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