Gates Wins Browser War, Retroactively

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Not content with his achievements to date, Bill Gates seems to want another title on his resume: Pioneer of the Web browser. In an interview with the Seattle Times, printed Sunday, the Microsoft CEO announces that he came up with the idea on an April 5, 1994 executive retreat: "I said, 'Hey, we're going to get (the browser) integrated with the operating system,' " Gates claims. Which, if true, would be extraordinarily convenient. It would prove that Microsoft Explorer and Windows were always intended to be one product, contrary to the Justice Department's claims. And it would predate the establishment of the company that was to become Microsoft's rival in the browser wars, Netscape, by two days.

There's just one problem. Netscape's founding fathers, Jim Clark and Marc Andreesen, maintain that they began planning the new company on March 1 1994. What's more, the browser Andreesen first worked on -- NCSA Mosaic -- was already wowing the crowds back in December 1993, when the New York Times' John Markoff lauded it as the killer application for the Internet. Gates might want to brush up on browser history before his impending DOJ deposition.