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Last Updated: September 3, 2013  2,168 views

How internet has changed in last 10 years?

in: Internet

old-times I completed 10 years as an internet user. I still remember, in 2003, I used internet for the first time in my life. It was a small cyber cafe and I was charged 20 rupees for around an hour. The computer system was loaded with Windows 98 operating system and the screen resolution was 800*600. My friend and I were struggling to find the address of the AIEEE counseling website. The owner of the cyber cafe soon realized our ignorance and asked us to search in Google. This was the first time I heard the word called Google :-) 

I confused it as Gaugle. I told him ”nahi bhai, ham logo ke paas Gaugle nahi hai. CBSE counseling wala website par registration karna hai. aapko pata hai to thoda help kar do” So finally after his help and guidance, I successfully registered on that counseling site. This was my first experience with internet, the biggest and the most important invention of modern times.

Ten years back, the internet was completely different. There was no social media, no online video streaming and video chat was beyond question. Yahoo Messenger was the king. We used to fight in our college’s computer center to get the computer system loaded with this chatting engine. People used to spend hours on internet in the Yahoo chat rooms. “asl plz” was the buzzword of that generation. For news and current affairs, rediff was one stop destination. SantaBanta was the biggest source of wallpapers of hot film actresses. Those days were entirely different. Having an internet connection in your home was a luxury. Mobile phones were still out of reach from the middle class.

The look and feel of some of the websites I visited in 2003 ::

Yahoo! Retrospective




Yahoo Chat Rooms


AIEEE Counseling Website




MANIT Website




The internet users have increased by leaps and bounds in last ten years. See the below mentioned graph (Internet users per 100 inhabitants).


From 2000 to 2009, the number of Internet users globally rose from 394 million to 1.858 billion. By 2010, 22 percent of the world’s population had access to computers with 1 billion Google searches every day, 300 million Internet users reading blogs, and 2 billion videos viewed daily on YouTube. There are almost 3.65 billion pages indexed by Google. (Monday, 02 September, 2013). According to netcraft, as of December 2012, the total number of websites in the world stands at approximately 633 million.

2003 was a landmark year for internet as it saw the advent of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 sites allowed users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, and mashups.


Web 3.0 is the next generation of the Web which will make tasks like your internet search faster and easier. Instead of multiple searches, you might type a complex sentence or two in your Web 3.0 browser, and the Web will do the rest. For example, you could type "I want to see a  new Hindi movie and then eat at a good restaurant. What are my options?" The Web 3.0 browser will analyze your response, search the Internet for all possible answers, and then organize the results for you.

The last ten years also saw the exponential increase in online magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, social networks, podcasts, photographs or pictures sites, video portals, rating and social bookmarking. Facebook has emerged as the most popular soial media website, with over one billion active users in October 2012.

Ten years back, internet explorer was the most popular browser. Today it’s Google Chrome, which is at the top. See the usage of Wikimedia sites in September 2012.


Internet has drastically changed in last ten years and in the form of Web 3.0 I see much accelerated growth and change in the next ten years.

  • 1

    Nice article. Very informative.

    Suresh G on September 3rd, 2013
  • 2

    Man, I remember that crapfest of a website MANIT had. Even in 2003, I was disgusted by looks of it. Whatever happened to that company, who used to manage it. They used to rake in a lot of money from it, before we screwed it up for them. MANIT sure was their biggest client.

    Also, I remember helping people understand internet during AIEEE counselling. Everyone was so befuddled with it, and I was like “what! it’s just written in plain English. What’s so difficult about it.” I guess, having access to yahoo chat way earlier than everybody, just made me cynical. But it was so much fun. Things have seriously changed way too much, and looks like I am falling behind the learning curve now.

    Jitendra Garg on September 3rd, 2013
  • 3

    That was good to read.
    My honeymoon with the computer began in the early seventies.
    At BITS Pilani,in 1971-72 I was introduced to Fortran Programming on the IBM 1130
    At Roorkee, during my ME thesiss years in 1972-74 I used an IBM 1620. Input was through punched cards.
    In 1975, I used the “fastest computer of the day” IBM 360 again with punched cards as input.
    Later in 1977-78, we progressed to using the DEC-10 of Indian Institute of science, and we in our office had a CDU terminal connected to the Institute’s computer through a telephone line and modem.

    We then used minicomputers (ORG 60) and I remember the day when the first IBM compatible computer was purchased in our office in 1983 for Rs 80,000 with just two floppy drives, one hard disk of 20 MB and 256K memory.

    I bought my own computer at home in 1991 for Rs 40,000 . It was an assembled PC AT, with 1 MB ram and 40 MB hard disk, black and white monitor, with no mouse.

    I learned to use email on the internet in 1998.
    I got an opportunity to browse only in 2000 using a modem and a telephone line. When I was using the net, the telephone line would be engaged, much to the annoyance of my family.
    Cable internet was the next innovation and internet facilites improved gradually but the speeds were no where near what we have today.

    Cell phones and tablets have made internet on desk tops irrelevant.
    I wonder what is in store for us in the next 10 years.
    Let us see.

    G Vishwanath on November 20th, 2013