Skip to comments.AOL Pulls Plug on Netscape Web Browser
Posted on 12/31/2007 12:17:16 PM PST by GATOR NAVY
NEW YORK (AP) - Netscape Navigator, the world's first commercial Web browser and the launch pad of the Internet boom, will be pulled off life support Feb. 1 after a 13-year run.
Its current caretakers, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)'s AOL, decided to kill further development and technical support to focus on growing the company as an advertising business. Netscape's usage dwindled with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)'s entry into the browser business, and Netscape all but faded away following the birth of its open-source cousin, Firefox.
"While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer," Netscape Director Tom Drapeau wrote in a blog entry Friday.
In recent years, Netscape has been little more than a repackaged version of the more popular Firefox, which commands about 10 percent of the Web browser market, with almost all of the rest going to Internet Explorer.
People will still be able to download and use the Netscape browser indefinitely, but AOL will stop releasing security and other updates on Feb. 1. Drapeau recommended that the small pool of Netscape users download Firefox instead.
A separate Netscape Web portal, which has had several incarnations in recent years, will continue to operate.
The World Wide Web was but a few years old when in April 1993 a team at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications released Mosaic, the first Web browser to integrate images and sound with words. Before Mosaic, access to the Internet and the Web was largely limited to text, with any graphics displayed in separate windows.
Marc Andreessen and many of his university colleagues soon left to form a company tasked with commercializing the browser. The first version of Netscape came out in late 1994.
Netscape fed the gold-rush atmosphere with a landmark initial public offering of stock in August 1995. Netscape's stock carried a then-steep IPO price of $28 per share, a price that doubled on opening day to give the startup a $2 billion market value even though it had only $20 million in sales.
But Netscape's success also drew the attention of Microsoft, which quickly won market share by giving away its Internet Explorer browser for free with its flagship Windows operating system. The bundling prompted a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit and later a settlement with Microsoft.
Netscape eventually dropped fees for the software, but it was too late. Undone by IE, Netscape sold itself to AOL in a $10 billion deal completed in early 1999.
Netscape spawned an open-source project called Mozilla, in which developers from around the world freely contribute to writing and testing the software. Mozilla released its standalone browser, Firefox, and Netscape was never able to regain its former footing.
I thought Netscape died years ago, after not seeing any more commercials for it.
I guess the MSM still has at least some sway over me. =(
Beat you by a year, starting with NS in 1995.
And I remember Netscape and the war with IE.
I used NS up until 2003 when I retired, moved and began to use Firefox.
I still keep copy of NS v4.74 for testing web pages on site I maintain.
I use Opera and love it.
.....I thought Netscape died years ago, after not seeing any more commercials for it......
Recall if you will that fools were parted from big $$$ spent on AOL stock. Having nothing better to do with the cash, they bought both Netscape and Time Warner.
All that $$$ was pissed down a rat hole. Thousands of children are starving in Africa because the money was ill spent by a greedy board of directors.
I have used it since the late 1990s. Like it. Still do. Dislike Internet Explorer. So what do I do? How do you get Firefox? Is it free like Netscape? I hate it when they do stuff like this.
Forgot to ask what is going to happen to my Netscape bookmarks?
Is that your final answer? :)
"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 thought that thousands of children are starving in Africa because of President Bush.
[Where can I buy a program to keep up with these things?]
I’m still using Lynx on a VT100 connected to a VAX.
Netscape 9 is Firefox with a Netscape theme. Just download Firefox from mozilla.com.
I will miss the Netscape name. Reminds me of the wild days of the internet back in 1995. Just after Algore invented it. I used Netscape for years until I switched to OmniWeb then Safari on OS X. Now that I am back on Vista, I was using Netscape 9. Not sure what I’ll use now.
I used it too. I liked the older versions that are not so tricked up. For the last few years Firefox or Opera have been better IE alternatives.
Never used IE, it’s always been a featureless piece of junk. Ever notice there wasn’t a spyware problem until IE won the browser war? IE almost single-handedly ruined Web browsing. I like how IE added tabs, something Opera had last century and the Mozilla browsers picked them up around ‘02. RSS? FF has had the live bookmarks well before ver. 1.0.
I used Netscape 95-02 (2.x until 7.2, skipped 6), Mozilla .9x-1.6ish, then Firefox starting with version .7. Ditched Windows years ago too.
RIP, Netscape, I miss the days when you were king. If anything deserves to die, it’s IE. Ridding the world of that pollutant would do us all a favor.
Well, that and the fact that it just stopped working at the ISP I was using.
I've been using it for years especially to browse Free Republic. The tab capability is especially useful, because its much easier to get control of the desktop when all the web pages are just tabs in one opera session. Sure IE 7 finally has tabs years after Opera and Firefox, but you have to use Windows XP or above. Opera works well on older computers running Windows 2000. Why should I upgrade to a computer running XP of Vista just to browse the web? The only things for which I use IE are Windows Update and E Commerce.
I think 4.7 was the turning point. Buggiest piece of carp I ever had the misfortune to design for.
Ideally a home computer facing the net should run LINUX; but if you can't do that, at LEAST avoid the biggest and most obvious target, which is IE; using Firefox just isn't that difficult.
Any learning curve, or is it just self-explanatory . . .