Why are Browser Icons Round and Blue?

Voltage Creative asked an interesting question:

Every single (even moderately successful) [note: except Opera] web browser’s logo has been round… Why?

Some plausible explanations:

  • IE was a blue rounded icon and everybody just followed suit
  • The globe is the best representation of the Internet (and it’s round and blue)

I tend to concur with the blue-globe metaphor explanation – if you look at most of those icons, there are explicit globes in it and you can’t quite have a square globe, can you? Which leads me to think – is there any better metaphor apart from the globe for the Internet?

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