Netscape - Once Upon A Time

After there was Internet and before there was Internet Explorer there was a browser called Mosaic Communications Corporation. Later Mosaic Communications Corporation changed its name to Netscape Communications and Netscape Navigator was Born. Netscape Navigator was released in 1994 year end.

Netscape had an attractive licensing scheme that allowed free use for non-commercial purpose. This ultimately led to its massive popularity on the popular windows platform. Netscape presented Livescript to the internet which is now known as JavaScript. Netscape's web browser was once dominant in terms of usage share. Netscape remained the leader with a browser share of more than 50%. Microsoft later licensed the Mosaic source code from Spyglass, Inc. and turned it into Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer was integrated into the windows operating system and was set as the default browser which led to its wide usage resulting in a drop in Netscape's share. Netscape lost more of their share to Internet Explorer during the first browser war. By the of 2006, the usage share of Netscape browses had fallen from over 90% in the mid 1990s, to less than 1%.

American Online (AOL) on November 24,1998 announced it would acquire Netscape Communications in a tax-free stock-swap valued at US$4.2 billion at the time of the announcement. The Acquisition was seen as a way for AOL to gain a bargaining chip against Microsoft, to let it become less dependent on the Internet Explorer web browser. On November 14, 2000, AOL released Netscape 6, based on the Mozilla 0.6 source code. Unfortunately, Mozilla )0.6 was far from being stable yet, and so the effect of Netscape 6 was to further drive people away from Netscape brand.

AOL has a long history on the internet, being one of the first companies to really get people online. Throughout its lifetime, it has been involved with a number of high profile acquisition, perhaps the largest of which was the 1999 acquisition of the Netscape Communications Corporation Netscape was known to many as the thought leader in web browsing, and had developed a number of complementary pieces of software that allowed for a rich suite of internet tools.

At the time of the acquisition, the Netscape team had begun working on converting their flagship product - the Netscape Communicator web site - into open source software, under a new name: Mozilla. AOL played a significant role in the launch of the Netscape 6 browser, the first Mozilla-based, Netscape-branded browser that was released 2000 and continued to solely fund the development and marketing efforts of Netscape-branded browsers. In 2003, an independent foundation was created to support the continued development of the open source web site. AOL was a major source of support for the Mozilla Foundation and the company continued to develop versions of the Netscape browser based on the work of the foundation.

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.

AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment Needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be. Mozilla meanwhile had grown in popularity for its various products especially the Mozilla Suite and the Firefox Browser. Given AOL's current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, AOL feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.

On 28 December 2007 AOL announced the cancellation of the development of Netscape Navigator. the support for the same ends by 1 February 2008.


KenCcT said...

although there are many types of browser now, but i'm more prefer to use Google Chrome. because it's more faster and user friendly than others^^

Wynne-Hui said...

i never use netscape before, but i most like mozilla! Internet Explore is the worse, load everything also slow.

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