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End of an Era: AOL Terminates Netscape Browser

   
11:26 pm on Dec 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



[businessweek.com...]
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.

[blog.netscape.com...]

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.

11:59 pm on Dec 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know I should know this but I was under the impression that the Netscape browser was a developed Mozilla browser.
Please explain the history a bit...

....but please, take it easy :)

1:38 am on Dec 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This AP article (via Yahoo!) has a bit of the history: [news.yahoo.com...]

Jim

6:16 am on Dec 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



I remember the days when I'd have to test all my sites in a variety of Netscape versions to make sure they would work/look the same. However, it's been years since I've even fired up any copy of Netscape at all. It's too bad the browser will no longer be maintained, but it hasn't been a competitive product since about version 6.x.

Farewell.

11:58 am on Dec 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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All things must end i guess.

Shame it happened to one of the founding browsers.

Look on the bright side - its one less browser to worry about when designing ;)

:)

7:17 am on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I switched to Internet Explorer when Netscape 6.0 appeared to be crashing just as often as Netscape 4.7. I'm not so sure people switched to IE back then just because it came with Windows, as is often said. From IE 4.0 on, it was simply the better product of the two.

I'm using Firefox for quite some time now. It's nice to know that it's code originated from Netscape.

[edited by: Solution1 at 7:29 am (utc) on Dec. 30, 2007]

5:37 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wow...I'm almost sad to hear it. What a legacy.
6:32 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)



Shame it happened to one of the founding browsers.

Are you sure don't mean Mosaic and Cello? Netscape Navigator was just a knockoff (albeit a knockoff created by members of the former Mosaic team).

6:53 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, the way I remember it (could be wrong) is that Netscape was basically the comercialization of Mosaic.
8:24 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That was my first Browser. I was introduced to the Internet by a dude that was in dev team of it. I stopped using it about 4 years ago, as well as trying to develop web apps that comply couple of years ago.

SAD.

8:29 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Kinda sad, really, but not surprising. Netscape hasn't been relevant for a while. The latest version of Netscape was really just Firefox with a Netscape skin.

The lasting legacy for Netscape is really the anti-competitive oversight that Microsoft now has to endure, which jelled because of the anti-trust lawsuits Netscape launched when IE became bundled with Windows.

Whatever the effectiveness of the oversight might be, it basically exists because of the browser wars.

The other legacy of Netscape is FireFox, which resulted from AOL releasing the source of Netscape.

I don't doubt that someone, somewhere, will pick up the torch and continue to develop at least a skinned version of Firefox, for sentimentality's sake.

9:01 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member henry0 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Sad,
If I am correct?, years ago,
(too many years!) I found somewhere one of the very first one - 1 floppy, that was it -
10:07 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Do you remember the little navigation wheel in the top right corner that used to turn round when it was downloading a page? In those pioneering days of the 'net I used to think I really was bolding navigating to where no man has been before when that wheel used to start spinning.......
10:18 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I remember having to actually buy the newest Netscape at Comp USA. However, Microsoft and it's predatory marketing strategy put an end to that. Thank goodness, however, that FireFox is alive and well.
12:42 am on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>Microsoft and it's predatory marketing strategy put an end to that

Put an end to having to pay for an ordinary browser? That's a good thing. Should we consider Google to be predatory with its extensive offering of online services at no charge to users?

The fact is, you can do almost anything you need to on the Web software-wise for free. Sure, if you need special features, you can buy dedicated commercial software. The general trend, though, means that price-sensitive users can do what they need without shelling out cash for software.

1:22 am on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Migrating to Java put an end to that story, nothing else. They fell for the hype, long before Java was quick and stable enough for the desktop (which still is questionable)...

That Java release was just unusable!

P!

4:30 am on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ew, I'd prefer to see something like:
End of an Era: Microsoft Terminates Internet Explorer
5:45 am on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jab_creations is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Mosaic to Netscape, then to Mozilla Suite, then to Mozilla SeaMonkey. Frankly it's still alive though with a different branding. I actually like Netscape 9's take on Firefox's skin. Will the Mozilla SeaMonkey team or another part of Mozilla take responsibility for updating Netscape or is it merely a name from a ghost browser of long ago now?

- John

6:02 am on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Netscape 8 was Firefox with the added option to run IE from within the Netscape 'skin.'
Netscape 9 was Firefox only, with a Netscape 'skin.'

There are 'Netscape-style' skins available for Firefox and for SeaMonkey (which replaced the Mozilla Suite).
The "IEtab" add-on for Mozilla-based browsers provides the "run IE from within the browser" function.

So what we've lost is the name and the commitment of AOL to keep the Netscape brand alive as a browser. However, because Netscape released the Mozilla code to the open-source community, it really lives on. For evidence of this, simply type the URL "about:mozilla" into your address bar. :)

Still, having used Netscape in the early days of the Web before the advent of Win98 and IE, I'll miss it. So long Netscape Navigator, rest in peace. Be proud of your legacy.

Jim

12:38 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Geez....don't know about you other 'old timers' that have been on the internet for a decade or more....but this trip down memory lane is making me feel OLD.
12:55 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Netscape and MIRC introduced me to the cyberworld. I wouldn't be here today if not for Netscape.
3:58 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Put an end to having to pay for an ordinary browser? That's a good thing. Should we consider Google to be predatory with its extensive offering of online services at no charge to users?

The difference is that Google is actually free to use, while Internet Explorer comes as part of an expensive OS.

I've been telling folks "Netscape is now called Firefox" for years -- for example companies that still officially support IE and Netscape browsers. So I this will be good, it will clear the waters a little.

6:38 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Geez....don't know about you other 'old timers' that have been on the internet for a decade or more....but this trip down memory lane is making me feel OLD.

I just had a mental flashback to 8-inch floppy disks.

11:07 pm on Dec 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just had a mental flashback to 8-inch floppy disks.

And 800/1600 BPI tape drives...

And punch card decks...

And DECWriters...

And wired core memory...

Well, it is certainly a far more complex world now, but I wonder if it is a better one.

-Commerce

7:03 am on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Though I'd used previous experimental browsers before Netscape (including Mosaic), N was the reigning browser when I entered the field professionally and the client for which I designed my first website. Gosh, I remember the introduction of "layers", all those table layouts and animated GIFs, <blink> and <marquee>... Netscape was brilliant in its time. And during the browser wars, proudly displaying the "Made for Netscape" chicklet was a politcal statement, a badge of allegiance in the battle against Microsoft.

I can't count how many stupid transparent 1-pixel spacer gifs I employed in those first 8 years... pre-CSS web design was brutal.

RIP Netscape

Who will write the official eulogy?

3:24 pm on Jan 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I remember using Netscape Communicator when I went to univeristy in 1996. I can't remember if IE was even installed on (Windows 3.1) PCs back then.

I still have a copy installed on my work PC and it works...just...lol

[netscape.aol.com...]

We apologize, AOL.com uses newer technology not fully supported by your current browser. To best enjoy our new experience, please download and install an updated browser using one of the recommended links below. - Netscape Browser - AOL Explorer (Windows Only) -
Safari (Apple Only) -
Mozilla Firefox
10:21 pm on Jan 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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it hasn't been a competitive product since about version 6.x.

Hate to think of the Internet when Netscape 6.2 was "competitive." That browser has caused me more compatibility problems than IE. At least you can target Internet Explorer with a few CSS hacks and conditional comments, but NN 6, in my experience, is virtually impossible to target except for old-fashioned browser sniffing. This wouldn't be an issue if it got anything right, but as it is, any kind of advanced CSS layout tends to break terribly in that browser. I was so glad when I finally decided to give up on supporting it.

3:57 am on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I only used Netscape for a few months,I usually use IE,but now I've switched over to Monzilla FireFox,my son,whose 15 said it was better because it was faster for him.I love all the great add ons and Thunderbird for my mail.I'm going to stick with Monzilla/FireFox.
6:56 am on Jan 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hello summergrace, and welcome to the forums.

I hope you thank your son regularly for that advice. Firefox and Netscape (in it's day) - are also more secure. Even the US Dept of Homeland Security put out official notices [kb.cert.org] about this.

10:19 am on Jan 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And here's a little walk down memory lane with regard to the browser;

[browser.netscape.com...]

"AOL will cancel support, but will allow nostalgic users to download archived versions of the browser. AOL will also continue to maintain the Netscape website as an Internet portal."
..
src .. [en.wikipedia.org...]

Have any of you looked at Google with the Navigator 4x lately?

It's pretty brutal.

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