Back in time we go – Tech news from June/July – 1996

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June 1996 Tech news – Netscape Communications Corp’s Internet Browser is now used by 38 million people, making it the most popular software of its kind. Netscape’s Navigator, released in December 1994, is more popular than other well-known software products including Microsoft Corp’s Word, Excel and Office programs and International Business Machines Corp’s Lotus 1-2-3 says Netscape. Microsoft’s Office is used by 22 million people, Microsoft Excel by 30 million and Microsoft Word by 21 million….

July 1996 Tech news – MSNBC launches (July 15) and the first major challenger to CNN. Anchor Jodi Applegate introduced Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and other NBC anchors during the first hour.

At the PC Expo trade show in New York – Netscape, Microsoft and others demonstrate technology which lets someone use the Internet for phone usage.

August – Netscape introduces Navigator 3.0. It will search out content from the Internet based on users’ specified interests and deliver it to the personal computers. It also includes technology to carry three-dimensional video electronic mail… Microsoft Corp says a letter Netscape wrote to the antitrust officials was a publicity stunt. They say they are not violating antitrust laws in a drive to boost their share of the Internet browser department…

Sony is reviving the minidisk – first introduced in 1992 – but failed. It’s a miniature CD – 2 ½ inches – but this time – Sony says it will have better pricing and offer a self-contained MiniDisc Studio sold in a bundle…

AT&T offers a simplified pricing plan under which any direct-dialed long-distance call within the U.S. will cost 15 cents a minute. The plan is an attempt to fend-off smaller long-distance providers, which gave grabbed $14 billion of the $80 billion longs distance market. The new plan will be an addition to six other existing AT&T pricing options…


Gary West

Historian Gary West built his first website in 1998 with That addressed now forwards to - an amazing pop culture/news database with 25,000 pages, covering the years 1955-2014. He's also the author of - covering consumer technology from 1952 to the present. West has been a contributor to numerous books, radio-TV shows, CNN & USA Today & the History Channel.

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