Alternative browsers like Firefox and to a lesser extent Opera, Safari and NetCaptor exploded in popularity in 2004. Better security was a major focus, but almost universally, "tabbed browsing", the ability to open multiple web sites in the same browser window by placing each site on its own tab, was listed as a top reason to switch from Internet Explorer. I like what Walt Mossberg said in one of columns in The Wall Street Journal:
Tabbed browsing is the biggest fundamental improvement in the Web browser in years.
I agree :-)
From reading various journalists, you'd think that tabbed browsing was a relatively new feature. Actually, tabbed browsing is over 7 years old - Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, Safari and others can all trace their tabbed browsing DNA back to NetCaptor at some level. I started developing NetCaptor in the summer of 1997 and released the first public version on January 3rd, 1998.
Happy 7th birthday NetCaptor!