Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen (born July 9, 1971) is the chair of Opsware, a software company. He is best known as a cofounder of Netscape Communications Corporation and co-author of Mosaic, an early web browser.

Andreessen was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and grew up in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. His father was a seed salesman for the Pioneer Seed company, and his mother was an employee of Lands' End, a company that sells clothing through mail-order catalogs.

Andreessen received his Bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As an undergraduate, he interned one summer at IBM in Austin, Texas. He also worked at the university's National Center for Supercomputing Applications, where he became familiar with ViolaWWW created by Pei-Yuan Wei, which itself was based on Tim Berners-Lee's open standards for the World Wide Web. These earlier browsers had been created to work only on expensive Unix workstations, so Andreessen and a full-time salaried co-worker Eric Bina worked on creating an improved and user-friendlier version with integrated graphics that would work on personal computers. The resulting code was the Mosaic web browser. Andreessen was fastidious in monitoring and responding to all user comments for suggestions and improvements to the browser, which fueled its accessibility and its popularity.

After his graduation from the university in 1993, Andreessen moved to California to work at Terisa Systems, a subsidiary of Enterprise Integration Technologies. Andreessen then met with Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics. Clark had been unhappy with the upper management at Silicon Graphics, and was looking to invest in other opportunities. Clark believed that the Mosaic browser had great commercial possibilities and provided the seed money. Soon Mosaic Communications Corporation was in business in Mountain View, California, with Andreessen appointed as a vice-president. The University of Illinois was unhappy with the use of the Mosaic name, so Mosaic Communications changed its name to Netscape Communications, and its flagship web browser was the Netscape Navigator.

Netscape's IPO in 1995 propelled Andreessen into the public's imagination. Featured on the cover of People magazine and other publications, Andreessen became the poster-boy wunderkind of the Internet bubble generation that would repeat itself over and over: young, twenty-something, high-tech, ambitious, and worth millions (or billions) of dollars practically overnight.

Netscape's success attracted the attention of Microsoft, which recognized the web's potential and wanted to put itself at the forefront of the rising Internet revolution. Microsoft licensed the Mosaic source code from Spyglass, Inc., an offshoot of the University of Illinois, and turned it into Internet Explorer. The resulting battle between the two companies became known as the Browser Wars; Microsoft was eventually (and, many believe, inevitably) victorious, and Netscape was acquired in 1999 by AOL, which made Andreessen its Chief Technology Officer.

But the original enthusiasm and excitement had faded away, and he would soon leave to form Loudcloud, a services-based Web hosting company that also underwent an IPO. Loudcloud sold its hosting business to EDS and changed its name to Opsware in 2002, where Andreessen continues to serve as chairman.

External links

fr:Marc Andreessen ja:マーク・アンドリーセン pt:Marc Andreessen


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