Good bye, Netscape.


Code Monkey
Staff member
Good bye, Netscape, thanks for the memories. :cry:

I am old enough to remember the early days of net surfing, back when NetCom was a big player (it could be argued that they introduced the cheap flat rate model that we all now enjoy in the US) and Netscape was this new type of software that you could buy at your local IT retail store. Yes, you read that right... buy. You see once upon a time before IE & Mozilla ruled the world you would need to purchase your web browser like any other piece of software. If you were lucky your ISP might supply you with their own branded browser.

Yep, those were the days. Back then you really did have to design your pages to be fully HTML compliant because of such a wide range of different browsers being used. Heck, you even had to take into account the occasional Lynx user!

"Surfing" meant sharing lists of URLs between friends of cool places to check out. And of course 'Red Light District' sites were amongst the first to appear that actually charged for access. Charged?! <gasp!> Soon after other sites thought that charging for access was the future and so the future was started.

Fast forward an odd twenty years or so and we find some things haven't changed that much at all while other things are long forgotten and, if lucky, can be found as a footnote reference in the history of the net.

Sadly, Netscape is now amongst them. :(

Born in April of 1993 at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications as "Mosaic" the life-line will be pulled February 1, 2008.

The creator of Mosaic, Marc Andreessen, and a small team left the Center in 1994 with the goal of taking the browser into the commercial world. Netscape was released later that year and the world was never the same.

With the success of Netscape and small companies like American Online (AOL) quickly blossoming into huge commercial entities it wasn't long until Microsoft decided to enter the field.

In the years that followed "Microsoft Internet Explorer" (IE) was released as a free download. The new software quickly gained a following from users who were faced with purchasing an established package like Netscape or using Microsoft's IE for free.

By the time that Microsoft decided to "embrace" the internet and bundle Internet Explorer for free with every copy of Windows it was already too late for Netscape.

As the 90's came to an end Netscape changed their business model by dropping the purchase fee and in 1999 was acquired completely by AOL for $10 billion USD.

Once Netscape was under the AOL umbrella, though, AOL was faced with a problem: It didn't know what to do with it's new purchase. The AOL client software used the IE engine so it was tied to Microsoft. AOL did go through several attempts at changing it's engine to the Netscape engine but, for one reason or another, it was the IE engine that was still being used.

The Netscape team, while continuing work on it's own "Netscape" branded software, broke off core development into a new open source application named Mozilla.

The eventual demise of Netscape was evident in the years following AOL as the market share of IE continued to rise, usage of Netscape was on a fast decline, and support amongst the 'anti-Microsoft' crowds put all of their weight in supporting Mozilla. With the backing of AOL, Netscape could've put forward a major effort to put itself back on the map and reclaim it's once mighty position. Instead AOL relegated "" to be a social networking site that, amongst other things, offered a browser.

Netscape... a social site!? :eek:

Along the way the Netscape developers put on a brave face and released several updates. The market did not respond though; IE was now the 800-lb gorilla that couldn't be beat and, in a bit of irony, Mozilla was the only real competitor to it.

With 2008 right around the corner AOL has apparently decided that it was time accept defeat. The social community that was born at the revamped is moving to, the Netscape browser will stop being developed nor supported, and the developers recommend the existing Netscape users migrate to Mozilla.

So long, Netscape, we hardly knew 'ya.
I thought about downloading it again but nah, i don't use it anymore.
Anyone remember neoplanet?