Microsoft officially beats Netscape in browser wars



The Netscape web browser will officially die on February 1, 2008.

In the Microsoft vs. Netscape browser wars, that makes Microsoft the official victor.

Not that many people are even aware of Netscape's existence at this point, since it currently commands a mere 0.6% of the browser market.

For me, it's neither here nor there, since Netscape pretty much works if Lottery Post functions well with Firefox, because Netscape is basically just a re-branded version of Firefox at this point.

Checking the Lottery Post active users page, one can usually find one or two Netscape users surfing the site at any one point, so I'm sure some of you will be upset about this announcement.

Here is the source article, for all the details:

A Sad Milestone: AOL To Discontinue Netscape Browser Development

Please observe a moment of silence for the Netscape browser. Netscape Navigator, the browser that launched the commercial Internet in October 1994, will die on February 1, 2008. AOL, which acquired Netscape in November 1998 for $4.2 billion, will announce today that they will discontinue development of the browser, currently on version 9.

In an email exchange yesterday with Tom Drapeau, Director of AOL/Netscape development, he said that only a handful of AOL engineers are still tasked with keeping the browser updated. Most of their efforts have been aimed at creating a Netscape-skinned version of Firefox with the Netscape look and feel.

The team has been unable to gain any significant market share against Microsoft Internet Explorer. In fact, recent surveys suggest that Netscape currently has only 0.6% market share among browsers, compared to IE's 77.35% and Firefox's 16.01%. This, of course, is the same browser that once claimed more than 90 percent of the market, sparking the browser wars of the 1990s and the subsequent Microsoft antitrust trial.

Drapeau says AOL's transition into an ad-supported web business leaves little room for any real effort at maintaining and evolving the Netscape Browser.

He also points to the success of the non-profit Mozilla foundation, which spun off of Netscape in February 1998 with $2 million in funding from Netscape and an additional $300,000 from Mitch Kapor. Firefox, which is part of Mozilla, brought in nearly $70 million in 2006 revenues, mostly from a search deal with Google. In a sense, Netscape lives on through the open-source efforts of Mozilla and Firefox.

Support for existing versions of Netscape Navigator will cease on February 1, 2008. After that, users can visit the UFAQ and the Netscape Community Forum for support.

AOL is also setting up a Netscape Archive where users will be able to download old versions of Netscape, without any support.

I sadly place the first browser I ever used into the TechCrunch DeadPool.


Entry #187


Avatar spy153 -
I will miss my secure Netscape. I realize I am a minority here. I use My internet explorer more than my Netscape, but only because it has added the tabbed browsing ability (on mine, through a Yahoo toolbar.) But Netscape was really a total package with your email already there and not having to open another program (which I hate) and was more secure. The latest one I owned was the 8.1 version which included all the spyware already bundled into it. I haven't tried the latest versions of Internet explorer, so I can't really compare. Does it include spyware bundled into it ? You know, where I don't really have to do anything, it just updates itself and lets me know if it finds anything? For some places I go, it is the only secure way to surf.   Some places are completely by accident. For instance, Pacattack had a link on one of his blogs that had been hacked and put a virus on my computer. I haven't back to his blog for that very reason and if it hadn't been for netscape, my computer would have been completely shot. And another time on here, one of the posters had a virus. Everytime I would read a thread with their post on it, I would get a phished. So, for a while there, all I could use on here was Netscape. It kept my computer safe. I'm going to miss it.

Glad you posted this info here. I don't keep up with browser news like I use to. I would have been completely baffled when it quit updating itself.
Avatar Todd -
@spy153: Although IE does not have "built-in" spyware detection, Microsoft does have a fantastic spyware program called Defender, which is available for free, and automatically keeps itself updated with no interaction necessary on your part. Defender is available via download for Windows XP, and comes built-in to Windows Vista. You can go to and search for "defender", and I'm sure you'll find it.

I'd recommend installing Defender, even with whatever other stuff you have installed. It gets high marks from most in the industry who review it.
Avatar spy153 -
Thanks Todd. I actually have XP now.

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