AOL’s Netscape dead at 13

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


Netscape Navigator, the web browser that launched the consumer Internet and changed the way humanity seeks information, will be euthanized Friday.

After years of neglect and indifference since it was mortally wounded by Microsoft Corp., parent company AOL decided it’s not worth keeping it alive with security updates.

It will die at 13 years of age.

As people discovered the Internet through the ’90s, Netscape became synonymous with this powerful new network.

Its iconic blue helm, and later the “N” ascending from the Earth, was a fixture of the early wired home, alongside the screech and hiss of the dial-up modem.

Netscape rose to and held its dominance until Microsoft offered Explorer for free in Windows 95.

With this battle salvo, PC users quickly switched to IE, and the grounds were laid for a historical antitrust trial that convicted Microsoft of monopolistic behaviour.

AOL continued to put out new versions of Netscape, but Jon Stewart, research director at Nielsen Online, says the company stabbed itself in 2000 with Netscape 6, which was a nightmare for web developers who wanted their websites work on both browsers.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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