Skip to comments.AOL Pulls Plug on Netscape Web Browser
Posted on 12/31/2007 12:17:16 PM PST by GATOR NAVY
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The problem isn’t Internet Explorer anymore. Plenty of people want an alternative browser. No, the problem is Firefox now. When Netscape signed their sharing agreement with Mozilla, they basically signed their own doom. They never should have allowed competing versions of the same codebase. Had they done something like Sun did with Java, getting open source help, but retaining rights to the code, then maybe Navigator could have survived.
I hated Netscape, in the 90s too. IE 3 and then 4.01 were my favorites, and there were powertools you could download from Microsoft that let you highlight text on pages back then with IE 4. I didn’t like IE 5 at all, but 6 made up for it some and now 7 is just fine with me again. I don’t like Firefox at all either.
Time Warner bought AOL. It screwed Ted Turner out of some money, so it wasn’t all bad.
You’re right. AOL bought Time Warner, but Ted still got screwed.
Johnny-come-lately. In 1994, I was running Mosaic and waiting for Netscape to come out. :P
Mosaic only supported GIF images -- anything else opened in a helper app. No tables, no forms, no type or visual control of any kind. It was basically gopher with a mouse.
The question you raised is.....will CNN now go the way of Netscape?
The precedent is now there. IE:Netscape as Fox News:CNN
Let us proclaim the good news....... Time Warner will surely abandon CNN.
Just another casualty of the Microsoft octopus that made a fortune stealing the brilliant ideas of others and using its monopolistic marketing clout to destroy those companies. I think a list of companies damaged or destroyed by Microsoft would fill a fair sized hard drive. I can only imagine how easy computers would be to use if those companies had been able to continue adding their brilliant ideas instead of being driven into the ground by Microsoft. Bill Gates is evil.
I played with Mosiac a little after I had been using NS for awhile. I remember thinking how “ancient” Mosiac was compared to NS.
Thanks for the laugh and the memories. Kids today don’t have a clue.
Firefox is free, ans as goldstategop said, can be plucked from firefox.com .
To get a little more technical, Firefox is based on the Mozilla codebase. It's the same browser under the hood, but with some different styling.
A little history is in order.
The first point-and-click Web browser was Mosaic. When Mark Andreesen went into the private sector, he called his newer, better browser Mozilla -- as in Mosaic + Godzilla. It became Netscape.
Netscape was the first browser for anyone who discovered the Web in 1995, and remained the most popular browser for several years after. But you can't out-compete a free product that's pre-installed on Windows, so IE pulled ahead.
So Netscape tried to reinvent itself. No longer a browser company -- though, actually, they made most of their money off their server software -- they tried to become a Web hub. That went reasonably well, but not spectacularly. So AOL used all that pretend money they had due to their inflated stock price, and bought Netscape.
Provider/hub/browser. AOL/Netscape vs. MSN/IE. That was the competitive landscape. It just didn't work out that way.
So AOL decided to make the Netscape code base open-source. They went back to the old Mozilla name, and just put it out there. Anyone, or any group of anyones, could take that code and make a browser out of it. Firefox did the most popular, and IMHO best, version of that.
There was no longer a place for the Netscape browser as a commercial concern, when volunteers were doing a better job. Pulling the plug on it is past due.
Unless you need the space on your hard drive, I’d just leave it alone, particularly until you see if there is anything you want to use it for. On my old P1 computer, I had IE, Netscape, Firefox, and Mozilla all available. They used to fight for who would be the default browser, but now I believe you can designate that and it stays put.
Buying Netscape was a strategic move. Everyone thought, back then, that there would be a few Internet providers, and AOL needed to own Netscape so it could compete with MSN, which owned IE. Of course, it didn't work out that way -- there are hundreds of access providers and dozens of browsers that can all get the job done.
Buying Time Warner was a smart move. AOL knew that the world of dial-up was shrinking. They knew their stock price was insanely inflated, and they wanted to get something of real value before the bubble burst.
So they went after Time Warner. Warner Brothers. Warner Records. Time/Life. HBO. CNN. Cartoon Network. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are tested, sturdy and reliable brands. AOL shareholders got a bargain spending fake money. It was the TW shareholders who got scammed.
My first browser was mosaic on a 386. My first picture download took hours. I finally got rid of the 36 this month. My wife was using it as a stand-alone non-web connected genealogy machine running DOS and an old but efficient genealogy program. It is still on a separate machine but it is all updated and unconnected to the web. Information is transferred by thumb drive after being checked for viruses and anything else unwanted.
It could have. But should it?
Browsers are a dime a dozen. Actually, that's a gross exaggeration. They're nothing a dozen. And as real standards take hold, everyone and his brother can write one. I use Safari, Firefox and Opera on Mac, IE, Opera and Firefox on Windows.
Why so many browsers? When I build a Web site, I want to see it in the ways 99% of visitors will see it. I try it from my cell phone, and I used to test them in a WebTV browser window. If I had a screen-reader for the blind, I'd try that too. For me, making sites accessible is a matter of principle.
There is no business case for maintaining a Web browser that can't compete. Navigator is to computing what Nash and Hudson were to automobiles. Good in their time, but obsolete now. The real world isn't a museum. It's time to remember them fondly, tip the cap, and move on.
Yopu can get a firefox extension for looking at IE only websites.
And if you told them, they wouldn't believe you. There is a whole generation today that cannot imagine a 9600-baud modem. When I got one, t was luxury. I was weaned on a 300.
And every day I walked to school in the snow. It was uphill both ways.
I have SeaMonkey and use it for particular sites where it is just easier and faster. Other sites work better with FF. Sites that work only with IE I ignored until I got the FF extension for that.
I was a Compuserve addict in the old days until AOL bought it and jazzed it all up with extra graphics. I have never appreciated the gratuitous graphics.
Steve Jobs is more evil! Crazy left wing control freak monopolist that wants to control what you put on your computer or phone.
I always found netscape annoying.
and now it’s gone. It was perhaps the largest blunder and waste of stockholder resources in the world of business history.
Sugar coating won’t help...... it was plain ol bad judgement.
After using IE since my first computer, I finally installed Firefox and love it. It does make my Hotmail harder to read but no big deal. My dad had Netscape and I never cared for it.
That's way over the top. Netscape didn't make a lot of money, but it didn't lose a lot, either. It moved the industry forward. Netscape took the World Wide Web from a hypertext system into a system to spread any medium imaginable -- sound, pictures, video, VRML, Flash animation, chat, audio chat, video chat, and when a genital interface comes (ahem) available, virtual sex.
Was Philo T. Fanrsworth a failure? He died broke and without renown. All he'd done was invent the television. The Wright Brothers didn't do much; all they did was invent the airplane. When was the last time you stepped on a Wright airplane? Or, for that matter, bought an Edison light bulb or a Bell telephone? A company isn't a failure because it fails to last forever.
A lot of folks made lot of money on Netscape. A lot of folks lost money on Netscape. Buying high and selling low is not a winning strategy in any market.
I've got Firefox v188.8.131.52 and it works just fine except that Drudge doesn't load properly. To read Drudge, I have to fire up IE. Does anyone know what's wrong? My OS is XP pro.
Looks like NCSA Mosiac, remember it well.
I used Netscape 1996-2002, IE 2002-2005, and Firefox 2005 to present.
I think it still has some minor problems with a few Java aplets.
Thanks! Checking it out now.
OK, I got Mozilla and managed, using your wonderful instructions, to move my bookmarks over there. Now how do I get rid of that hideous Google toolbar at the top. I have uninstalled it several times and it won’t go away. Thank you.
try add/remove programs in within the control panel.