In 1995, Microsoft released Internet Explorer, the web browser that would popularize, conquer, polarize, and ultimately hold back the progression of the World Wide Web. But a year before Microsoft released its popular web browser, the company quietly launched its first website; a website that Microsoft has now relaunched for public inspection in all its Web 1.0--or even 0.1--glory.
What makes it perfect is that this really is what the rest of the web looked like back in 1994. I was there. I remember! The low-resolution GIFs. The thoughtless use of fonts. The star map navigation grid with a seemingly random selection of pages and links. This isn't 1994 web design: it's what the web looked like before anyone even thought about applying design principles to it. And believe it or not, even this was a step-up from the entirely text-based web browsers we had before. Lynx, anyone?
Of course, a mere two years later--largely thanks to the dominance of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer--the web looked very different. By 1996, the Microsoft homepage, while still quaint, didn't look anywhere near as antediluvian. Although as Warner Bros. official Space Jam website from 1996 proves--which is still, amazingly, online--the Internet wasn't quite ready to move away from star maps just yet.
You can check out Microsoft's original homepage by clicking here.
[h/t the Verge]