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In March 1996, at Microsoft’s annual Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Bill Gates announced a set of internet technologies called ActiveX. “Part of the unique thing that Microsoft is doing,” he said regarding Microsoft’s approach to the Internet, “[…] is a strong level of integration into Windows.” It was the moment Netscape, Sun Microsystems, and other web-focused companies had feared — Microsoft was embedding the Internet into its powerful Windows ecosystem.

Read More 1996: Microsoft Activates the Internet With ActiveX & JScript

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For all of the technical wizardry in Netscape Navigator 2.0, when it was first released JavaScript was put to use in fairly trivial ways — scrolling text, silly animations, tricks with colors (fading, rainbow effects, and so on). Inventor Brendan Eich called these initial use cases “annoyances.” But there was also an underlying power, especially with the beginnings of the DOM.

Read More 1996: JavaScript Annoyances and Meeting The DOM

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JavaScript was invented in a two-week flurry in May 1995 by Brendan Eich, at the time a newly hired developer at browser company Netscape. The project was initiated by Netscape because of a desire to extend the early Web beyond the limits of HTML. In particular, Netscape wanted to add interactivity to websites. JavaScript ended up being the solution and this post explores how that came to be.

Read More 1995: The Birth of JavaScript