The End Of Netscape?!?!

Wrapping up 2007, I came across some very surprsing and some what disappointing news. As of February 1, 2008, AOL will stop providing ANY support for Netscape. It was only back in February when AOL announced Netscape 9 based off of Firefox 2. It was finally released in October of this year. Here are the details from the Netscape Blog:

While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Recently, support for the Netscape browser has been limited to a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.

Further, this also means the end of the planned Thunderbird based e-mail client, Netscape Mercury aka Netscape Messenger. Really a disappointment to hear this news. Granted it was more a social networking version of Firefox, but still it was another browser. Not only that, it was a browser which many people were familiar with the name. Back in the 90’s Netscape was the alternative browser over Internet Exploiter, especially for Mac users. Hopefully the current Netscape users will move over to Firefox or even Opera, anything as long as it is not Internet Exploiter.

Oddly enough I find this announcement in some ways rather amusing. Think about this for a moment, the final product has been out for a little over 2-months and AOL is throwing in the towel already? This is AOL we’re talking about here, the company that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word cancel. The company that will extend out the ‘free-trial’ for the rest of your life (and longer).

Come join the discussion: The End of Netscape at The Firefox Extension Guru’s Forum.

News Source: CyberNet News

2 Comments on The End Of Netscape?!?!

  1. At last… Seriously, it’s been years that Netscape is no more than a popular name, and nothing else. Not to mention I’m clearly not an AOL fan.
    I actually tried the last version when it came out, and I found it bad and buggy.

    There are very few Netscape users left, but I think most of them will move on to Firefox. It’s unlikely users of an alternative browser would go back to IE. If they know about Netscape, they most likely know there are other browsers out there.

    For the record, 2 years ago, in my university, Netscape was the default browser on half of the computers, while Firefox was on the other half…

  2. Here’s the source, by the way (could have been nice to add it to the article):

    “Q: I use Netscape now. Now that Netscape is stopping support, what do I do?
    A: The Netscape Team fully stands behind the fine work being done by the Mozilla Foundation. We recommend that you download Mozilla Firefox and give it a try. We know you’ll enjoy it!”

    Although it’s nice that they recommend moving over to Firefox, I find it rather funny that AOL would do that… I mean, for example, their site index is an HTML mess that doesn’t display right in Firefox 3, yet they “fully stand behind” Firefox.

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