We’ve grown accustomed over the years to modern and visually pleasing web layouts, with easy-to-use interfaces and clean designs. It’s easy to forget what the internet looked like before web design really took off. Microsoft celebrated their 20th anniversary last week by reminding internet users everywhere what their original website home page from 1994 looked like.
This re-creation of Microsoft’s original home page might come off as simplistic to us now, with its pixilated background image, basic fonts, and limited features. However, Suzanne Choney points out in a blog from Microsoft: “In terms of ‘Web design,’ the notion, much less the phrase, didn’t really exist” in 1994. If you consider the web was only around for five years prior to 1994, this home page seems more impressive.
Microsoft’s old home screen also shows how much progress the internet as a whole has made in such a short amount of time. Microsoft’s first administrator, Mark Ingalls, points out that in the age of the dial-up internet in 1994, users might have had “to count to three or five” before Microsoft’s home screen would load.
If you owned a computer 20 years ago and had the patience for dial-up, you also couldn’t visit many popular websites of today because they weren’t in existence yet. Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google wouldn’t be created for several more years.
With how rapidly the internet progressed over the past two decades, the internet of the future could be very exciting. How different will websites look two decades from now? Will internet speeds become faster?
Maybe in another 20 years Microsoft will re-create their home screen from 2014, once again reminding everyone how far the internet has evolved, and will continue to evolve for years to come.