Internet Explorer v.6 with Google toolbar; click for larger version
Internet Explorer was cited as an example of questionable product bundling in Microsoft's anti-trust case with the United States Department of Justice. Microsoft required many OEM computer manufacturers to include Internet Explorer in the copies of Windows they installed on systems they shipped, and would not allow the manufacturer to put an icon for any other web browser on the default desktop in place of Internet Explorer.
The rendering engine for the Windows version of MSIE (MSHTML[?]) is used in alternative interfaces, such as Crazy Browser, NetCaptor[?], and NeoPlanet[?]. (The Mac version of MSIE is based on the Tasman Rendering Engine[?].)
Internet Explorer started out as the Spyglass browser[?] before being bought by Microsoft. Spyglass in turn was based on the Mosaic web browser from NCSA, one of the first graphical web browsers. See also History of the Internet.
Release history MS Windows version
In June, 2003, Microsoft announced that it was ceasing further development of the Apple Macintosh version of MSIE, since Apple has developed its own browser, currently known as Safari_(browser).
Current news seems to suggest that Internet Explorer may cease to exist as an independent program soon, and will be considered a part of Windows.