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Netscape staff slashed by AOL.

Mozilla will continue as a non-proft foundation

     
9:43 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Netscape has been axed by AOL. Mozilla will continue.

From Mozillazine.org ( [mozillazine.org...] )

"AOL axes Gecko team, dumps Netscape

It has been learned through public and private sources that AOL has axed the Gecko team in a mass firing and are dismantling Netscape (they've even pulled the logos off the buildings).

To us, their $2 million contribution to the nascent Mozilla Foundation now comes across as nothing more than a face-saving gesture.

Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE: Looks like folks are starting to post to ex-mozilla.org.

UPDATE: I was told to stress that Mozilla will continue, and that many of the folks let go today will continue to devote time and energy to it. I'd like to wish all the best of luck, and I'd like to thank everyone for the amazing contributions that they have made over the past five years."

Quoting a French Netscape employee ( Blog @ [daniel.glazman.free.fr...] )

"Netscape hired me three years ago, AOL laid me off today (technically, having a french contract of employment, I am still employed; we don't throw away people in ten seconds here. We take thirty seconds, that's cleaner). AOL axed Netscape by the same time. People, it's over. Netscape is dead. Nothing to see here."

All because of the Microsoft deal I would suppose. Now what for the Mozilla open source movement? I guess Apple were on the ball with KHTML! Later,

Andrew Boyd

10:06 pm on July 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This will be a good thing for Mozilla. AOL has done so much wrong with Netscape. From the outside it seems that AOL played Netscape as a bargaining chip 99% of the time and didn't care about the Mozilla project at all.

IMO, aol never took the long run, imagine the power they could have wheeled if they had a good 30 to 50% of the market using their browser.

10:22 pm on July 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hmmm .... AOL bought Netscape .... which is a mistake .... OpenSource to the rescue to cut their cost .... used Netscape to sue IE .... Microsoft pays AOL .... AOL kills Netscape. what a shame.
10:39 pm on July 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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OOH! Say it's true, oh say it's true!

That would be wonderful.

Where else has this been reported?

1:23 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From a recent (5 hours old) news release at News.com.com [news.com.com]

America Online on Tuesday said it has laid off 50 employees involved in Web browser development at its Netscape subsidiary amid a reorganization of its Mozilla open-source browser team.

The move affects less than 10 percent of Netscape employees, according to an AOL representative, who added that the company plans to continue to support current versions of the Netscape browser and the Netscape Web portal.

"Netscape remains a key part of our multibrand strategy," AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein said. "We will continue to support the browser and the portal."

That means the news is less "final" than it might have first seemed.

[edited by: tedster at 1:36 am (utc) on July 16, 2003]

1:25 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what the fate of dmoz.org will be.
6:14 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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see the new www.mozilla.org

this move of cutting staff, etc. looks like a planned exit by AOL...it will do Mozilla good.

Now, where is that GoogleBar with PR when we need it the most?

6:49 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Maybe as a stand alone (more or less) organization Mozilla will be able to make some headway.

Could AOL just be loosening it's grip a bit so that it can get the benefit of the next 5 or 6 years of open source community development in time to have an alternative to IE when it's 7 years is up?

7:14 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am more interested in knowing what the fate of Dmoz would be? Would Google buy it off now?
8:23 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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so does this mean there is no more netscape?
8:25 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well i would define it to, there is no AOL/Netscape mozilla anymore or?

Webproperties etc, will still continue to be run like normal or?

8:37 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I never liked AOL. They haven't done one thing right in the history of their corporation.

I think it's better for Mozilla. the "why use Netscape 7.1 vs Mozilla 1.4" is just confusing to users. Now we can just say, use Mozilla it's the best.

8:43 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yowser, new layout at Mozilla.org!

AOL, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat, and other companies will continue to support Mozilla through the Foundation.
8:45 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I never liked AOL. They haven't done one thing right in the history of their corporation.

Look at the amount of subscribers they have..! I know lots of people wh are very happy with there service.

I personally wouldnt go near it and I agree whole heartedly with your opinions but this is obviously some kind business tactic. Personally I love Netscape 7.1 and if it was a bit faster to open etc and didnt eat as much memory I would use it over IE6 everytime.

9:01 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Am I the only one who finds the default skins for Netscape 7 and Mozilla revolting? I can't believe you get the same icons as Netscape 4 in Mozilla! Those disgusting purple and green blocky graphics that should have been deleted long ago. While Netscape 7 has a sickening shaded purple look.

The first thing I do when installing Mozilla is track down the latest version of the Orbit 3+1 skin. Why this isn't the default instead of a 1995 browser's icons I'll never know.

What does Firebird look like? I heard they're going for a new look. The screenshot on Mozilla.org looks like IE!

9:10 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So it seems that the rumors about IEs death were somewhat exaggerated and that Netscape is perhaps out of business in stead?! Or is it, that IE is now some OS-component and Netscape is a portal?

What a week this has been! Slightly OT; this simply has to make some bells ring in the web developer community, so that coding according to standards will increase ;)

/claus

9:27 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Netscape dead. IE resting until new Windows comes out. Mozilla and Opera here we come!
9:29 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Am I the only one who finds the default skins for Netscape 7 and Mozilla revolting? I can't believe you get the same icons as Netscape 4 in Mozilla! Those disgusting purple and green blocky graphics that should have been deleted long ago. While Netscape 7 has a sickening shaded purple look.

Totally agree, the modern skin should be enabled by default.

9:38 am on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I always assumed it was to help people migrate from Netscape 4. But why dress a much more advanced program to look like an old-fashioned bug-ridden one? Now that Netscape is seemingly dead, this practice should be discontinued.
12:15 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In the article it says, "Internet Explorer is currently used by more than 90 percent of Web surfers, according to site visitor statistics published by Google."

Anybody know where this page is?

12:21 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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MrSpeed, they are probably referring to this:

Google Zeitgeist: [google.com...]

1:02 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Am I the only one who finds the default skins for Netscape 7 and Mozilla revolting?

No, that makes at least two of us...
But I love Opera 7, and all these changes sound good for its future.
1:08 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've been saying for ages that DMOZ would be much healthier if it were spun off into a private foundation... I think the Netscape move could be a model, sort of, for that kind of change. AOLTW derives no business benefit from DMOZ and receives plenty of abuse for its shortcomings and its apparent stinginess. What better solution than to spin it off? They could provide enough capital for the first year (at minimal operating levels), and stop their bleeding (as small as it may be). The new foundation would be free to seek new funding sources. If anything, its clear-cut non-profit status would be heartening to volunteers, particularly those that work hard to make DMOZ special while its wealthy corporate parent starves it.

Is it time to start a DMOZ spinoff pool? ;)

1:19 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Given these statements
The move affects less than 10 percent of Netscape employees

and
Netscape remains a key part of our multibrand strategy

I wonder where the reports of ripping Netscape logos off the building came from.
1:59 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well this is where the original quote came from:

[mozillazine.org ]

2:03 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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the original quote

[daniel.glazman.free.fr...] sounds to me like a frustrated employee who has been laid off, not like a business journalist.

the fate of dmoz.org

That depends on the future of "Netscape Communications Corporation" (an AOLTW brand).

ODP is funded by Netscape but is independent of the business divisions. And although it started out as directory.mozilla.org, I believe that was simply an instance of Netscape stamping a name that it owned on a newfangled open content project. The browser and server software development teams are/were not connected to the ODP management. And the ODP Terms of Use have nothing to do with the MPL (just as GNU infamously wanted nothing to do with Gnuhoo.com :-) ).

AOLTW utilizes ODP-based technology to manage content for its Netcenter portal (future admittedly uncertain), and as it seems everyone in the world has noticed, they have made a long-overdue hardware investment by adding half a dozen new servers. Perhaps they will kill Netcenter (which hardly anyone visits any more) and give the ODP a nice sendoff, but then why hand all that value over now, when they could have had a nice tax writeoff after incorporation? In the long run it is fun to speculate about the future of the ODP, but for the short term it doesn't look like things will change much. And ODP staff has indicated the same to editors.

2:25 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You know I'd never even heard of dmoz until now. I wondered what it was so I looked at the website. Pretty boring and similar to Yahoo if you ask me. (I hate plain blue links and heavy Times text. Not even a hover effect.) But then I guess looks don't count if it's a great tool.
2:44 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Alrighty, take a look at the Web Standards Project [webstandards.org] website for a rounder view on this whole situation. I've never seen so many posts appear so quickly on there! (Lots of links to further information.)
6:06 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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More on this...
[internetwk.com...]
6:18 pm on July 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You know I'd never even heard of dmoz until now.

Hester, DMOZ is the source of the Google Directory - and a zillion smaller directories as well. A link in the DMOZ is a major shot of juice for most any website. Many crawlers start their crawl with the Open Directory.

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