The New Media Institute (NMI) is a research and fact finding organization whose mission is to improve public understanding of issues surrounding the Internet and other forms new media communications. NMI works directly with the news media, researchers, academics, government and industry professionals and serves as a primary resource of facts, statistics and analysis.

History of the Internet

History of the Internet - 2000 and Beyond

2000: After a bitter antitrust lawsuit, Microsoft is ordered to break into two separate businesses focusing on its highly successful Windows operating system and its other numerous software applications. 2000 would go down in Internet history as the rise and burst of the internet bubble. That year, the presence of internet consumer companies was widespread and visible in everyday life, including the visibility of .dotcom companies which paying millions of dollars for half-minute advertisements to air during the Super Bowl. When investors heard reports that Microsoft would be unable to settle its antitrust lawsuit with the government, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffers the biggest one-day drop in its history up to that point. Microsoft will settle its lawsuit in 2001 allowing it to remain a single company, but in 2000, the internet revolution marches on with Googles rise to become the worlds largest search engine and the first official instance of internet voting taking places in the United States during a Democratic party primary in Arizona.

2002: Napster is shut down after it fails to win a lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

2003: The rise of spam; unsolicited junk mail messages begin to account for over half of all e-mail messages sent and received. Though the US Congress passes anti-spam legislation, the scourge of unsolicited email remains.

A note on sources:

This ongoing chronology would not be possible without the efforts of numerous authors and researchers to document the continuing cultural and technological emergence of the internet. Every attempt will be made to acknowledge the sources from which this chronology is built. Please note, this following list is incomplete and, like the chronology itself, represents an ongoing process of documentation.

Abate, James. Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1999.
Hillstrom, Kevin. Defining Moments: The Internet Revolution. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005.
Segaller, Stephen. Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet. New York: TV Books, 1998.

Sign Up for New Media Updates