Feeds

AOL tosses Netscape into the dustbin of history

Off to Firefox with you

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

AOL is abandoning all work on the Netscape browser and wants users to migrate to Firefox. Not that there are many left: in the mid-1990s, Netscape commanded well over 80 per cent of the internet browser market. But it has been moribund for many years, with share down to one per cent, at best.

In an obituary on the Netscape blog, lead developer Tom Drapeau threw in the towel today. "AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be", he wrote.

AOL is stopping support on all Netscape browser versions on Feb 1. Die-hard users can, of course, continue to browse the Net, but this may be unwise, considering there won't be any more security patches. Drapeau recommends that people who like the interface, should download a Netscape skin or 'theme' for their Firefox browsers.

In 2000, AOL bought Netscape Communications for $4.2bn, a prime example of dotcom lunacy (although a shadow of the lunacy that prompted Time Warner to buy AOL). AOL Time Warner recouped some of its money in 2003, when Microsoft paid the company $750m to settle an anti-trust case brought "to restore competition lost in the operating system market and in the Web browser market because of Microsoft's illegal conduct" (in the late 1990s).

Microsoft exploited its relationship with PC builders to strong-arm Netscape from their desktops and bundle Internet Explorer 4.0 instead. Not very nice. But let's not forget that many were receptive to Microsoft's "wooing". In private, many PC builders decried Netscape's arrogance. And of course, Internet Explorer was free, unlike Netscape at its peak. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.