I'm a little surprised by the apparent love and compliments being eschewed for IE4/5 Vs Netscape.
I absolutely loved Netscape and found IE to be a poor alternative. I guess for starters it was because it lacked mail and Usenet, but I also disliked the typical Microsoft deliberate breaks from convention such as using Favourites when everything else used bookmarks.
For the most part I found Netscape to be pretty stable and it's high degree of configurability was a boon. It wasn't perfect and it did crash from time to time but in the main it made both a decent IMAP mail client (something neither Outlook nor Outlook Express even supported) and was a decent browser too.
I used Netscape on Windows 3.11, Windows 95, macOS 8/9, Solaris and Linux until I switched to Opera, which was by far the superior browser of the time with all its fancy Qt goodness in the form of tabs and Mouse gestures. (I'm a bit surprised it didn't get a mention in this article).
I seem to recall trying the version of IE that got released for Solaris and thinking it was a bit crap and I'm trying to rack my brain to recall whether there was a Mac port as well... Truly IE was only ever a Windows browser, so Netscape was already a clear winner for multi platform support (and Opera also released builds for quite a few platforms - I used it on Solaris for a couple of years)
To me, Internet Explorer has always been the epitome of Microsoft's abuses of its monopoly. Embedding it into the OS and bundling it with every PC and called 'The Internet' was an anticompetitive and rather evil deception.
Ironically now it seems to be Safari that's most likely to mangle a page that works fine in FF and Chrome, which is an extra nuisance given that Apple only releases it for their devices: I'm not inclined to start paying the idiot tax just to be able to use their wanky browser.
Personally I'm very sad that Opera gave up on it's proprietary rendering engine - it did certainly struggle with some pages but I think it held up pretty well against the bigger players. Now Opera exists only by name as yet another skin around Chromium.
Vivaldi at least tried to get back to the core principals of the legacy Opera but I still found it a bit too 'chromy' for my liking.
I've ended up settling on FireFox, which just about fits my needs but I do lament the true lack of browser choice these days. At least, for the most part, I can write some HTML+CSS and be reasonably confident it will render fine on almost anything (except possibly Safari).