The World Wide Web Turns 25

A retrospective as the Web hits the quarter-century mark.

March 16, 2014, 6:54 a.m.

It’s dif­fi­cult to ima­gine life without the Web, even though a large ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans spent part or most of their lives without it. But it was only 25 years ago this week that Brit­ish com­puter sci­ent­ist Tim Bern­ers-Lee pub­lished the pro­pos­al that is widely con­sidered to be the birth of the World Wide Web.

When Bern­ers-Lee pub­lished “In­form­a­tion Man­age­ment: A Pro­pos­al” at the European Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Nuc­le­ar Re­search, he set out to achieve a prac­tic­al goal: to make the troves of in­form­a­tion at the in­sti­tute, known as CERN, more ac­cess­ible to the sci­ent­ists there by us­ing hy­per­text to share in­form­a­tion. In­stead, he touched off a re­volu­tion.

Today, more than 2.7 bil­lion people around the world acess the Web. Here is a look back at the Word Wide Web’s met­eor­ic rise since 1989.