December 30, 2007

End of Support for Netscape web browsers - The Netscape Blog

I can't help blogging this news from Netscape. I was surprised when version 8 of the Netscape browser came out because I thought all of Netscape's browser development had been turned over to the Mozilla Foundation. Version 8 was neat, though. It let you switch between the Firefox engine and the IE engine, so in one browser, you could check how a page would look in those two browsers. Version 9 removed that feature, so I really did not see a reason to use Netscape over Firefox. And I guess few others did either.

Still, the end brings back memories of the excitement of the early days of public access to the Internet. Netscape was not only significant for bringing graphical browsing to the public, it was also the beginning of the tech boom of the 90's. The Netscape IPO was the start of the idea that there was a ton of money to be made by financing Internet applications. I remember seeing Marc Andreessen being interviewed the morning of the initial offering after he had just become a multi-millionaire, or maybe a billionaire.

The thing about Netscape that scared Microsoft was the idea of the browser as a platform for applications, making the operating system irrelevant. That idea is still being pursued. One can only wonder what might have developed if Netscape could have maintained its market share and stayed independent instead of being subsumed into AOL.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its funny, I actually remember when I taught a basic web scripting class and I had to help students figure out why their JavaScript wasn't working in Netscape 4.8 and 6.0 versus IE 5.

Wow...Time sure flies.

RIP Netscape. Hopefully your youngest son FireFox will outlive you...

Frank (