The Internet explosion began in 1995
with the introduction of Microsoft Corporation’s
Windows 95, and its Internet Explorer.
Before this historical watershed the Internet was a sparsely populated domain composed mainly of academics, technophiles and even some political activists.
World-wide in December 1995 there were about 16 million users of the Internet out of a global population of over 4.5 billion (~.0036 %). Just 7 years later in December 2001 a Neilson/NetRatings survey of the largest 22 industrial nations shows at least 422.4 million Earthlings to be online, (nearly 10% of the world population). About 140 million of these users are in theUnited States, with 54% of the total American population connecting to the web at home, work or school.