First Web Browser on Windows

The first web browser for Windows was released 15 years ago by Thomas Bruce of the Cornell Legal Information Institute. June 8th marked the 15th anniversary of the 0.1 release, with a succession of followup releases soon after. Cello 0.2 was released on June 14th, 0.3 on June 16th, 0.4 on June 18th, 0.5 on June 24th, and 0.6 on June 30th. Fortunately, there were no more days left in June or else the web browser fad may have caught on. Cello quickly went into disuse and ceased being updated less than a year later.

For those interested in nostalgia, here is Thomas's original release announcement.

From: Thomas R. Bruce 
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 93 22:00:52 GMT-1:00
Organization: Legal Information Institute
(Cross-posted to many lists and groups.  Please forgive necessary
This is an announcement of Beta Release 0.1 of Cello, a
World-Wide Web browser for Microsoft Windows 3.1
-- (HTTP/HTML) browser, with user-configurable colors  and fonts.
-- Full-featured Gopher (though unfortunately not yet Gopher+)
client, including a hyper-ized CSO which permits (sorta dumb)
SMTP mailing.
-- Transparent access (via WWW) to FTP, HyTelNet, Telnet, etc.
etc. ad infinitum.
-- Graphics and PostScript viewing and sound playing via
MSWindows Associations...feature, using add-on, shareware
viewers such as SNDTOOL, GV057, and the Windows version of
-- Ad-hoc Telnet, FTP, and Gopher sessions.
-- SLIP/PPP support with dialup scripting language.
-- Supports wide range of LAN configurations via Distinct
TCP/IP runtime stack.
     Things you should know:
-- Hardware:
Cello needs a Windows 3.1-capable machine with enhanced mode
and (preferably) swapping enabled.  It is hungry for extended RAM.
-- Software:
Cello depends (for now...we're working on a Winsock version) on the
Distinct TCP/IP runtime stack.  The LII has licensed the use of a
runtime version of this software for use by US academic institutions
for a period of one year, starting June 1, after which we will
renegotiate the license.  Commercial organizations and non-academic
users are strongly urged to contact Distinct directly at

The Distinct software adds enormous functionality to the package,
including SLIP/PPP support with scripting, and configuration for
many types of LAN and networking layers.
We are working on a Winsock version which will be available
without restriction later this summer.
--How to get it:
FTP to, the /pub/LII/Cello subdirectory.  The
distribution is in multiple files.  At a minimum, you will need
 README.1ST, which contains unpacking instructions.
 CELLO.ZIP, which contains the executable and Help application
 DIS.ZIP, which contains the runtime stack.
Optionally, you should also get:
VIEWERS.ZIP, which contains a graphics viewer and sound player for
use with Cello.
GSWIN.ZIP, which contains the Windows version of GhostScript.
PLEASE NOTE that fatty is but an humble little Sparc and you can
bring it to its knees fairly easily, so if you have another source
the GhostScript stuff please spare me and everyone else by going to
the alternate source; the file is 2+ MB.
Installation is performed by following the instructions in
README.1ST, then using the online help.  Additional support is
available from a listserv list called appropriately enough CELLO-L.
To subscribe, send a message to with
the one-liner:
         sub cello-l your full name
in the body of the message.  cello-l is watched by the developer and
by a few folks who graciously assisted in alpha testing and who
know more about the software's treacherous behavior than its
author; the listowner is Will Sadler at Indiana University Law
We are also working on an archive of installation hints and tricks.
Please try to take it easy on comp.infosystems.www; Tim already has
too much to deal with (grin).
Who'n'heck are these guys?:
The Legal Information Institute, operating under the auspices of the
Cornell Law School, is an entity set up to distribute legal
in hypertextual form by various means, including the Net.  Since
there wasn't a Web client for the platform used most by lawyers and
legal academics, we took it into our (ill-advised) heads to write
This is it, almost.  For further information:
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