IBM WebExplorer

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IBM WebExplorer
Initial releaseNovember 27, 1995; 28 years ago (1995-11-27)
Final release
1.2 / November 25, 1998; 25 years ago (1998-11-25)
Operating systemOS/2
Available inEnglish
TypeWeb browser

IBM WebExplorer was an early web browser designed at IBM facilities in the Research Triangle Park for OS/2.


Presented in 1994 with

OS/2 Warp (v3), it was hailed as the best browser by Internet Magazine in their November issue and leveraged its position as the only native browser in OS/2 at that time. It was a "coming attraction" in The HTML Sourcebook: The Complete Guide to HTML. Almost immediately after the introduction of OS/2 Warp version 3, IBM dismantled the development team and that relegated the WebExplorer to the annals of history.[citation needed] OS/2 Warp 4 (1996) included it, but also included a link to download an OS/2 version of Netscape Navigator 2.02, which was late for shipping on CD. IBM had already planned the substitution of WebExplorer.[citation needed

In 1995, it was added to AIX, IBM's proprietary UNIX platform.[1]

A 1996 review in

Mosaic code base and was found by the reviewer to be "far superior" to the OS/2 version, which was developed solely by IBM.[2]


  • Support for HTML 3.0 (with tables)[3]
  • Usenet reader
  • Some of its parts could be reused in other programs[4] and scripted with Rexx. Some external companies used this capability to offer an enhanced browser with IBM's rendering engine[5]
  • A page could define what the animated
    web frames
    leads WebExplorer to confusion on modern pages
  • A presentation mode without visible menu bars
  • A menu option Links collecting all the links in the page. It was used by
    IBM VoiceType
    for voice navigation
  • Java applets[7][8]
  • GIF support[3]
  • Proxy authentication[3]
  • Image map[3]
  • Webmap "hierarchically displays your complete path through the web; a pointer denotes the current site, but any site can be revisited with only a mouse click."[9]

Version history

Version Date New features Systems
1.0 January 6, 1995 (1995-01-06) Customized Animations OS/2 2.1, OS/2 Warp
1.01 April 5, 1995 (1995-04-05) OS/2 2.1, OS/2 Warp
1.02 June 28, 1995 (1995-06-28) Drag and Drop Support

Color Palette Management

OS/2 Warp
1.03 September 28, 1995 (1995-09-28) Newsgroup Manager

HTML Extensions

OS/2 Warp
1.1a March 22, 1996 (1996-03-22) OS/2 Warp
1.1b 1996 (1996) OS/2 Warp
1.1c June 6, 1996 (1996-06-06) OS/2 Warp
1.1d June 14, 1996 (1996-06-14) OS/2 Warp
1.1e July 11, 1996 (1996-07-11) OS/2 Warp
1.1f September 13, 1996 (1996-09-13) Option "No Proxy For" OS/2 Warp
1.1g November 7, 1996 (1996-11-07) OS/2 Warp
1.1h December 11, 1996 (1996-12-11) OS/2 Warp
1.2 1996 (1996) OS/2 Warp Version 4

There were severals builds released by IBM. IBM released some beta builds and also fixed many bugs in WebExplorer, one beta including support for Java.


The browser did not support

Frames and the installation of plugins like Java was complicated.[10]


  1. ^ "IBM Cruises onto Internet with Security Products & WWW Software SUPERHIGHWAY REPORT HPCwire". Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Ayre, Rick; Mace, Thomas (March 12, 1996). "Just Browsing". PC Mag. Ziff Davis.
  3. ^
    Read me
    file of the Web Explorer 1.1h.
  4. ^ Under the Scope section. EDM/2 June 1996, Volume 4 Issue 5
  5. ^ WebNav 2.0 added user interface enhancements on WebExplorer rendering.
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Amstadt, Steve (December 3, 1996). "Browser Watch – IBM OS/2 Webexplorer News!". Archived from the original on February 9, 1999. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  8. New Riders Publishing
    . Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  9. ^ "Internet Access Tools". PC Mag. No. v.14 n.7. Ziff Davis. October 10, 1995. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Watson, Dave (July 21, 2001). "A Quick Look at Web Explorer". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved August 16, 2010.

External links