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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.
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. Given AOL's current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reigns fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.
The web was built on Netscape, and whilst I haven't used their browser for years it's sad to see an icon of the early internet era disappear.
Netscape 4.x was a real pain in the butt for designing purposes. I can't understand why the Netscape guys kept updating the damned thing. On the other hand, IE 5 can still render ok some sites today.
Want to know why Netscape failed?
Watch the PBS one-hour documentary Code Rush. The video was released on April 25, 2000. Producer-director, David Winton; writers, G. Pascal Zachary and Jonathan Halperin.
Code Rush shows how the Mozilla project began.