How Internet Explorer Became Apple’s Default Browser

[Newscaster] And on the subject of technology, Apple Computer has claimed another victim.
The company’s chairman and CEO Gilbert Emilio abruptly resigned yesterday.
He assumed the position…
[MJD] 1997 was a big year for Apple.
The company was in the midst of a financial crisis and was just 90 days from going bankrupt.
Despite these financial troubles, Apple had just finalized the purchase of NeXT software in a last-ditch effort to save the MacOS.
Steve Jobs who co-founded the company in 1976
returned after over a decade of being absent.
At the Macworld conference of that year Jobs announced one of the most
controversial deals in the history of the company.
One with its biggest rival, Microsoft.
In the terms of this deal Microsoft made a
150 million dollar investment in Apple and promised to develop Microsoft Office for Mac for the next five years.
Jobs also said that Apple will be making Internet Explorer the default browser on the Mac
Which was a decision that wasn’t received very positively at the event.
[Steve Jobs]
Apple has decided…
…to make Internet Explorer its default browser on the Macintosh
[Tons of Booing in the crowd]
But this begs the question…
Why did Microsoft agree to invest millions of dollars into one of its competitors?
And why did Apple agree to make Microsoft’s Internet Explorer their default browser?
to answer these questions
We have to examine a legal battle between the two tech giants and it all begins in the early 90s
At the second annual Worldwide Developers Conference in May of 1991
Apple Computer introduced and previewed the first version of their new multimedia Framework called QuickTime.
QuickTime was a major development in the multimedia industry,
Especially to home computer users.
Prior to QuickTime’s introduction playing back video on a home computer was a difficult if not impossible task.
What made QuickTime so revolutionary was the methods that it used to enable video playback on consumer computers.
The software would dynamically adjust the frame rate that it was playing back video in depending on the speed of your processor
while continuing to play the audio portion in real time.
Essentially the audio would continue to play in sync with the video no matter what frame rate the video was being played back in.
At QuickTime’s demonstration at WWDC, Bruce Leak, The head of the QuickTime team played Apple’s iconic
1984 commercial at a whopping
320 by 240 resolution. While this seems quite unimpressive today,
It was a major feat in the early 90s.
QuickTime 1.0 was eventually released to the public in December 1991.
One year later,
Apple contracted the
San Francisco Canyon company to develop a port of quicktime for Microsoft Windows.
The first version of QuickTime for Windows was released at the end of 1992.
So that’s great and all but you might be asking what does any of this have to do with…
…Internet Explorer being Apple’s default browser?
Well, this is where our story becomes much more interesting.
Microsoft and Intel felt threatened because of QuickTime for Windows, so they decided to do something about it.
In a response to QuickTime for Windows, Microsoft created their own multimedia framework in
1992 called Video for Windows.
The first few versions had limitations and did not compare in
performance to Apple’s QuickTime.
To improve the performance of Video for Windows
Intel initially contracted the same San Francisco Canyon company that was hired by Apple to port QuickTime to Windows.
Later on Intel and Microsoft combined their efforts to improve Video for Windows
They created a new technology called Display Control Interface or
This new technology was implemented in video for Windows version 1.1d.
This version greatly improved the performance of Video for Windows.
In fact, the improvements were so significant that it caused Apple to look into them.
What Apple found was alarming.
Intel and Microsoft had pirated several thousand lines of code
From the San Francisco Canyon Company that ported QuickTime to Windows.
As soon as they learned about this…
…Apple promptly filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Canyon company
Accusing them of breach of contract and theft of intellectual property.
Apple later added Intel and Microsoft to the lawsuit claiming that they had knowingly
contracted the San Francisco Canyon Company so that they could steal the infringing code.
A temporary restraining order was issued on March 3rd
1995 that prohibited Microsoft from distributing video for Windows version 1.1d.
In response,
Microsoft updated video for Windows for Windows to version 1.1e, which removed the infringing code.
This incident was how the…
…discussions between Microsoft and Apple began.
Apple initially threatened Microsoft with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit…
…over the QuickTime incident.
In response to Apple’s threats
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates threatened Apple with the removal of Microsoft Office for Mac,
one of the Mac’s most popular suite of programs.
Ultimately, the two companies came together to announce a settlement deal ,
which was first made public at the 1997 MacWorld conference.
Apple dropped all lawsuits against Microsoft and agreed to make Internet Explorer the Mac’s default browser in…
…return for Microsoft continuing to develop Office for Mac for five years and purchasing 150 million dollars worth of non-voting Apple stock.
However, this investment was, according to then Apple chief financial officer, Fred Anderson,
the first of a few substantial balancing payments that would be spread out over the course of the next few years.
The exact amount of money that Microsoft gave to Apple over these years is still unknown to this day.
While the decision to make Internet Explorer the default browser upset a lot of Mac users at the time,
It was in Apple’s best interests.
Internet Explorer was the dominant browser at this time…
…And as such many websites were designed to support it, even though Internet Explorer was Apple’s default,
They did ship other Browsers with new Macs and allowed the user to change their default if they preferred.
So that is the story of how Internet Explorer became…
…Apple’s default browser.
A story of one legal battle that ultimately changed the course of the…
…Relationship between the two tech giants in the coming years.
That’s all for today’s episode, I’d like to thank all of you very much for watching.
If you enjoyed this video and want to see more like it,
Definitely be sure to give this video a like and get subscribed.
And as always I will see you guys in the next video

19 Replies to “How Internet Explorer Became Apple’s Default Browser”

  1. @jamescla aka @Technology Reviewed
    come on friend! the title wasn't 'misleading', even if one concedes that the clip was short. Probably not that comprehensive but good nonetheless.
    I, personally, came here for the vintage footage and nature of THIS channel 🙂
    [Spoiler: am a fool who was a curious teen back in the 1990s, in Bharat (India) who was fortunate to have his own computer (royal 486 costing more than an iPhone XX) before consumer Internet came to Bharat/India in 1995]
    I happened to already see this other video (from Business Casual) uploaded within a fortnight of this/present video by Michael MJD ji
    those who fancy catching further titbits can watch it >> [How Microsoft Saved Apple (And Why They Did It)] by Business Casual
    though at under 10 minutes, even THAT is rather modest and there still is truckloads of snippets and background information on the epic moves by Microsoft and it's promoters to get clear of a class action suit.
    one wonders what might have happened had they (Microsoft/ promoters) had held on to their investments or had them converted to normal shares/ swapped and seen this boom in the past 4-5 years. #gosh
    much respect and wishes to Michael MJD ji fr introducing a whole generation to some lost treasures and to a different era.
    (and/or reintroducing it to those who did live and breathe through that era too). 🙂

  2. Even though I'm an apple user and I know apple would've gone out of business if it wasn't for Microsoft but I still think google is better

  3. Wait a sec, but didnt IE for Mac had completely different engine to Ei for windows? It was reasong to drop support for Mac at some point – they got tired of supporting it.

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