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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(Excerpt) Read more at tuaw.com ...
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.
Opera is so limited, compared to Firefox. But it is my second choice. And, right now, I’m pretty frustrated with FF ver. 220.127.116.11 because it’s so slow, which is why I’ve been using Opera.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
I mostly use Firefox, but I also have Internet Explorer.
Sometimes a radio station’s webstreaming will only work
on I.E., but I try to avoid that browser whenever possible. I just dumped Netscape
as choice #3 and picked up Opera. But mostly use Firefox.
I remember circa 1998 my friend actually buying Netscape navigator in an office supply store.It was a free download but he had some reason for paying for a boxed edition.
I use IE,Firefox, Opera
Tom Leykis duraflame bopped his wife after Christmas party and was given heave ho
I use Lynx occasionally. It’s the ideal browser for some situations.
Thank you Bill Gates for making another once useful program go to hell.
It's great for reading FR at work.
Wow man, those are some great memories. I am quite astonished that you downloaded the whole www on your hard drive. You were way ahead of the time, and yes, had you known about search algorithms, or even employed someone to write one, you would be super rich today.
Firefox is OSS and whoever distributes it is bound by the GNU GPL.
Firefox is basically the successor to Netscape. If you want the Netscape feel without actually using Netscape Navigator, use Firefox 2.0.0.x with the Netstripe theme. That theme makes Firefox look like Netscape Navigator.
Netscape was the sole alternative to IE for a long time. Now there are plenty of alternatives. Netscape simply ceased to be necessary. R.I.P. Netscape [play Taps here].
The difference is that Firefox works.
What’s the difference between Firefox, Seamonkey, Thunderbird and Sunbird?
AOL did more stupid things with Netscape than can be excused, it’s like they bought it for the sole purpose of killing it. Starting with buying it and never switching to it for the AOL browser and then ending (at least for me) with putting some crappy beta with an annoying unremovable debug window into the automatic download cue so your perfectly fine production code Netscape got replaced and you didn’t know it was a beta (and a particularly bad one at that) until it was far too late.
I was actually kind of sad when I finally tossed my final install of Netscape. Glad Firefox was around so I could switch to something good, but the web and Netscape were such synonyms for me for so long. Boo AOL for ruining what was once the best of breed.
Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation would not exist today if AOL had not purchased Netscape, so something good came out of it.
Of course if AOL had done anything intelligent with it we wouldn’t need a Netscape successor.
I have never used Seamonkey; it looks like an all-in-one program like Outlook. Likewise, The Sunbird calendar is one I haven’t tried. I have tried the Thunderbird email program, and have found it wanting. The Firefox browser is a competent program- my main browser, in fact.
And when the graphics revolution came along (a/k/a VGA-mania) along with those blazing 9600-baud modems, there arose a demand for dial-up portals, and Prodigy was among the first. And yes, it was a very ugly interface:
Mosaic? Real web users use Lynx.
Seeing that screen I just remembered my Prodigy log-in and password, from over a decade ago.
The best part is somewhere in the labyrinth of Prodigy’s server farms, there were still original prodigy personal webpages on the ‘net in 2004. Even years after subscribers had stopped paying their contracts.
I’m looking at Firefox now, but don’t see ‘composer’ listed in it. I have used netscape for years because of ‘composer’. Do you know if Firefox has a similar option?
I don’t think Firefox has Composer, but there are free and inexpensive HTML editors around.
There are a few decent Firefox replacements for Composer. I too had Netscape installed for several years past daily use just to use Composer.
Simpler extension many Freepers use everyday on FreeRepublic:
A bit more complex:
Thanks, both of you for your responses.
I wasn’t sure if mozilla would still be a choice, isn’t that part of netscape?
Found links on NuV or something like that which was touted as being composer’s replacement, but seems its demise was earlier than netscapes.
I checked out the links you gave and then found kompoZer and it looks and feels most like composer to me.
I just haven’t decided at this point whether I’ll keep netscape on my system or if so, for how long and I wanted a replacement in case I decide to dump netscape in its entirety.
It just seems a waste of space to keep all of netscape just for composer. Its going t oseem weird not having netscape around anymore.
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