Skip to comments.RIP Netscape Navigator (1994 - 2008)
Posted on 12/28/2007 8:40:14 PM PST by HAL9000
Soon, Netscape Navigator - the first highly successful graphical web browser (yeah, yeah, I know Mosaic came before Netscape, but I don't remember seeing Mosaic floppy-disks bundled with my PC World and Macworld magazines in 1995, at least not under the name "Mosaic") - will be nothing more than a footnote in Internet history. Let's take a moment of silence for the big N. OK, that was long enough.
AOL, the parent company of this blog and Netscape, has announced that they will cease support for the current version of Netscape as of February 1, 2008. Netscape, which at its peak in the mid-1990s held 80% of the web browser marketshare, and was a player in Browser Wars 1.0.
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I installed Mosaic on my machine about a year ago, but I couldn’t get YouTube to work on it.
Air Mosaic and bulletin boards, cool memories. Navigator was great. RIP.
I knew when AOL got a hold of the Netscape browser it was doomed. Hell I didn’t even think it was around anymore until I saw the news report. I’ve been a loyal Firefox user since I lost Netscape to AOL. I use IE at work because they make me.
Was my browser of choice until AOL got their fingers on it.
Navigator was great compared to the others - NCSA Mosaic, Spyglass, and the awful text-based browser on Delphi’s service.
Just waiting until some super rich company buys Firefox and then will be out in the cold.
nah, Opera is okay.
I’m glad y’all are so sweet with romantic memories of Netscape’s software, but every version I tried was crashy and awful. And don’t forget that Netscape the company (whose largest investor at the time was the private venture fund of AmerIndo Investment Advisors, largely funded by Indonesian and Chinese billionaires) was the main plaintiff in the Clinton DOJ’s assault on Microsoft.
So I say good-bye and good riddance to Netscape, and I further hope its White-House-Coffee-Sipping investors with their whispers into Bill Clinton’s ear lost not just their shirts but their Mao jackets and little red books as well.
Microsoft caused their own problems with Clinton’s DOJ. First, they made a deal with Janet Reno. Then they willfully violated it, and she started stomping her boot in their face. It’s too bad that Microsoft didn’t invest that energy into designing a better browser instead.
What you say may be true, but so is what I said. Check the archives (and Alamo-Girl’s resources) for many well-documented posts about the tie-ins between Netscape, AmerIndo, Terry Lenzner, Reno, the White House coffees... the whole constellation of Clintonian corruption. Microsoft may not have played fair, but the role of the Chinese/Indonesian billionaires in bending Clinton’s ear and convincing him to Do Something about Microsoft is there for all to see. Please trust me on this— it has been one of my pet hobby-horses since 1996, and it’s all documented here on FR.
Netscape more or less died when most of its developers went onto the Mozilla project that created the various Mozilla products: Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email/NNTP client, SeaMonkey Windows-based Internet suite, and Camino Macintosh-based Interent suite. Also, even Internet Explorer has advanced quite a bit, especially the current 7.0 release.
BBC News reports: The demise of Navigator was compounded in 2003 when AOL, which bought Netscape in 1998, made redundant most of the staff working on new versions of the browser.
Many of the staff moved to the Mozilla Foundation which develops the popular Firefox browser. This browser has a 16% share of the browser market.
AOL still sucks.
Isn’t Firefox basically the same thing? It always seemed that way to me.
I am fortunate to have been on the ground floor of the Internet when it started getting popular in the 1990s. I was one of the first people in my company to get an email address (when I asked for one, the IT department initially didn't know what I was talking about). Back then, you usually had to subscribe to an online service like Prodigy or CompuServe and apps like Gopher and Telnet were still widely used. I was a member of Prodigy, which had the clunkiest interface you could ever imagine. Their idea of Internet was showing you sports scores and weather reports on gaudy yellow screens that were six hours old. Still, you had the sense that you were on the cutting edge.
Then Mosaic came along and as long as you had that, you could escape the confines of those blue and yellow Prodigy screens and browse web servers all around the world. At the time, the Internet was so small that if you emailed a celebrity, they likely emailed you back. I remember having email conversations with local disc jockeys about music, talk show hosts like Gene Burns and Tom Leykis (who called me a right-wing dope). Nowadays, nobody answers your email because everybody has thousands of emails clogging their inboxes.
There was one time around 1993 or 1994 when I had the entire World Wide Web on my local hard drive. Reason was that they charged $3.60 an hour to browse the internet in those days so one Saturday afternoon, I just downloaded the whole damn thing on my 9600kps modem so I could browse it offline for free. Sound ridiculous but remember it was nothing but text in those days and I think it was only about 20 megabytes. If I was smart enough, I'd have built a search engine around it and I'd be a mega-billionaire today.
Interesting bit’o cool history! Thanks for that.
I have fond memories of Netscape— back about 1998, or so. Buh-bye, Netscape. Long live Firefox.
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