Feeds

IE 6.0 is burying Netscape

But AOL could spark revival

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The release of Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer 6.0 web browser signaled a "precipitous" decline in the usage of AOL Time Warner Inc's Netscape, according to the latest numbers out from WebSideStory Inc.

The tally, extrapolated from the web logs of the 125,000 sites WebSideStory surveys, has Netscape usage at an all-time low of just 7%, down from a fairly steady 12% prior to IE 6.0's launch, with IE making up the bulk of the remaining usage. IE 6.0, released last year, is used by 30% of web surfers, the survey found.

No matter how much some web developers may hate Microsoft's domination of the internet software market from an ethical viewpoint, the death of Netscape would mean writing for one browser therefore fewer headaches. The browsers implement different standards or the same standards in different ways, and both have non-standard proprietary features.

But AOL, which bought Netscape Communications Corp in 1999, may be poised to spark a revival, by distributing a version of its proprietary IE-based software based on the Gecko rendering engine. Gecko comes from the post-Netscape Mozilla open source browser project, which has been overseen by AOL for the last few years.

AOL recently confirmed it is testing Gecko-based software with some users on its flagship service, continuing from a trial on its CompuServ brand service that started last fall. Rumors are beginning to circulate, which AOL has not yet flat out denied, that AOL 8.0, expected before the end of the year, may be a Gecko-based browser.

According to WebSideStory AOL's global usage share is about 13%. As the largest ISP in the world, with about 34 million users, web developers, particularly those coding for a US consumer-based site, would be hard pressed to ignore a shift in browser strategy from AOL.

© ComputerWire.com. All rights reserved.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.