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Pat Connors wrote:
>NEW YORK — 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. <snip>
We all knew it was going to happen eventually, but . . . WHAAAAAAAA!
NEW YORK — 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.'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.'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
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
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.
Added note: I started using SeaMonkey a couple of years ago and like it
Pat Connors, Sacramento CA