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.
Open your bookmarks and you should see ‘export’ and save them to an easy to find folder or your desktop. Then open FF and do the reverse, ‘import.’
On a Windows install, FF will ask if you want to import your IE bookmarks but I don’t know if it looks for other Mozilla installs and asks or not.
Wow, I remember having Mosaic running circa 1993-4 under X windows. I’m pretty sure it was invented for the same reason everything else was - to make finding porn easier and faster.
Different group of thousands of starving children.......
from The Book of Mozilla, 11:1
I’ve been a Netscape guy since about 1995, and I still am. I love the programmable link buttons at the top: one click and I’m at whichever of my favorite sites I want. No drop-down menu necessary.
If only Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell would share their triple bacon cheeseburgers with them...
There's a painless and potentially lip-smacking happy New Year's resolution for you.
My main browser is SAFARI. FIREFOX is my backup. Used NETSCAPE years ago though.
Firefox is nice & easy — I’ve been using Firefox for years and only use IE on sites that require it when I’m forced to.
If you add the Netstripe theme to Firefox, you'll have Firefox looking like Netscape. It's the closet you get to having Netscape 9.0.0.x without actually having it.
//detect Netscape 4.7
alert(”You are using Netscape 4.7. Get a decent browser.”)
Firefox is a stand alone browser.
It should automatically import your bookmarks from Netscape. If it doesn’t, ping me back, and I’ll dig out an old copy of Netscape and walk you through the process.
Or, if you are in the mood for adventure, try SeaMonkey. It’s the complete suite to replace Mozilla. http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
Once you download Firefox, I recommend that you download a couple of plug ins - Cookiesafe and Flashblock will make your browsing safer and more enjoyable.
What IE calls 'favorites' Firefox calls 'Bookmarks'. That's pretty much all you need to know for a smooth transition.
It works on UNIX, too.