What Does Internet Explorer (IE) Mean?
Microsoft Internet Explorer (abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a free web browser application produced by Microsoft in 1995. Internet Explorer was designed in response to the first geographical browser, Netscape Navigator.
Techopedia Explains Internet Explorer (IE)
Back in 1994, Netscape produced the first commercialized web browser (the original, but not commercial, browser was Mosaic). Netscape Navigator took the World by storm and quickly took the 90%+ of the browser market.
Bill Gates is rumored to of downloaded Netscape's browser and then spend the entire night using it. He then changed the direction of the company to be Internet-focused, of which the core strategy was IE. By giving away the browser for free (and bundling it with the OS), Microsoft crushed Netscape, and by the late 90s, Internet Explorer was the leading browser.
While Netscape is no longer around, its codebase as evolved into Mozilla's Firefox, and there continues to be massive competition from Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari) among others.