Farewell Netscape

Netscape's long run is finally coming to an end. AOL announced that as of February 1, 2008, Netscape will cease production. I have fond memories of having installed the first version of Netscape on an old Windows 95 PC many years ago. Microsoft hadn't even begun production on IE yet and there were very few if any other options available. It quickly grew to be the dominant browser on the market. Which was something Microsoft could not stand for.

I'm sure we all remember well the browser wars of the late 1990s and how Microsoft eventually won that war and more or less crushed everything in site, including what was then Netscape Communicator 4. Internet Explorer had become pretty much the only option available to many people by the time Windows 98 was considered mainstream. There were only a small number of holdouts who were using something else. When it became clear to me that Netscape was dead, I switched to Opera. That had always felt like a forced decision though, so I was quite happy to hear that in 1999, Netscape open-sourced their browser. The result was Mozilla. One of the greatest ironies of the internet took place here as AOL backed the project with all of their might and financing.

It wasn't long before Mozilla splintered and gave rise to Phoenix, later becoming Firefox. Eventually later versions of Netscape 7, 8, and 9 were based on the Firefox code. It never really regained its former position though. Netscape to this day clings to a mere 0.6% market share, while Firefox has surged to 16%. with AOL now focused more on ad-supported business, the Netscape developers felt it was time to put an end to the project for good. Netscape is fully encouraging people to switch over to Firefox as their browser of choice. I can't say I disagree with that, since I use Firefox myself.

So we bid Netscape farewell. Their contributions to the rise of the web as we know it will never be forgotten. Thanks guys!
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Dec 29, 2007 8:20 pm by Samson in: | 1 comment(s) [Closed]
I guess I'm still part of that 0.6% market share for them as I still use Netscape daily, albeit only for my voting run and a couple of specific sites, after that I spend the rest of my day alternating between Firefox and Opera with the majority of my sites in Opera but my mot important ones in Firefox.

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