Netscape – the browser that pretty much started it all in terms of a user friendly browsing application, will no longer be developed or supported from February 1, 2008. Rest in peace, Netscape.
Once holding the major share of the browser market – up to 85%, by the end of last year, it clung to a measly 1% share.
Netscape was originally released as Mosaic Netscape 0.9 on October 13, 1994. Netscape Navigator 9, based on Firefox 2, was released in October 2007 and is the final version. But to bring things more into perspective, it’s not so much a death as a metamorphosis, as Netscape Navigator 9 is based on Firefox 2.
In 1998, the Mozilla Organization, mostly funded by Netscape began working on Netscape 5; but the code need to be rewritten from scratch. That became known as the Mozilla web browser, which Netscape 6 was based on and the Mozilla browser then became Firefox.
While the Netscape blog does have it’s share of people lamenting the announcement of its demise, there were only 80 comments at the time of writing; indicating that the brand is a mere shadow of its former self.
I certainly remember the browser war days between Netscape and IE and particularly all the cross browser compatibility issues; quite an important topic as so many people were using each browser.
I guess for many of us who started out on the web in the mid-90′s the passing of Netscape isn’t so much the sadness of the “loss” of the application, more of a nostalgic twinge back to the days when it was *really* the wild west out here and even basic Flash applications had our jaws dropping in awe :).
For the die-hard Netscape users, they recommend downloading Mozilla Firefox, and add on the Netscape theme and Netscape extensions which are available here