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Software that allows a computer user to find and view information on the Internet. The first text-based browser for the World Wide Web became available in 1991; Web use expanded rapidly after the release in 1993 of a browser called Mosaic, which used point-and-click graphical manipulations. Such Web browsers interpret the HTML tags in downloaded documents and format the displayed data according to a set of standard style rules. Netscape Navigator became the dominant Web browser soon after its release in 1994; Microsoft's Internet Explorer was introduced a year later and has become widespread.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on browser, visit Britannica.com.