The first Microsoft Internet site was born in early 1993. Group Manager John Martin of Microsoft’s Corporate Network Systems group sought and received the charter to post Microsoft support resources, previously available only on a CompuServe forum, to a public FTP server. The site was named gowinnt.microsoft.com in honor of the keyword used to access the forum on CompuServe. It was later changed to ftp.microsoft.com, to better map with Internet naming conventions.
A year later, in 1994, the group sought to expand the support offerings to include gopher and Web servers. Emphasis was originally placed on the more mature gopher protocol, which offered limited text-only browsing with a menu-like interface and searching via WAIS gateway, a primitive predecessor to the modern search engine.