On the End of Netscape

Netscape, that most venerable of web browsers, has reached the end of the road. Once, it was the web browser. Eighty percent of web users used Netscape. But then, something called Internet Explorer came out, and in the First Browser War Netscape took a tumble.

As of February 1st, 2008, AOL will be pulling the plug on Netscape.

Some of you may be thinking — people were still using Netscape?

Believe it or not, yes. AOL had released Netscape 9 earlier in the year. It was Firefox 2, but with a special skin.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Netscape over the years. In its early years — say, versions 3 and 4 — Netscape wasn’t an especially aesthetic experience. And I’ve never found Netscape to be particularly fast. But as the years passed — and Netscape’s market share crashed — the program became more aesthetic in its appearance. And frankly, I liked Netscape 8. Not enough to use it as an everyday browser, but I thought it had a pretty slick interface and it seemed to be a bit faster.

In a little more than a month, Netscape will be no more as an actively developed product. It will be a sad day for long-time ‘net users.

I’ll still keep a version (or four) of Netscape on my computer. Say, “Netscape, do you remember the time, way back when…?” and fire them up from time to time. 🙂

One thought on “On the End of Netscape

  1. Back in 1997 when I started out my computer career in Information Technology, the insurance company I worked for deployed Netscape 3 to the company. It was my first solid experience with a web browser (having used AOL for the year leading up to this) and there are some fond memories. But they charged for the browser, and I didn’t feel like shelling out the cash for my home PC. So when Microsoft released IE for free, it was a no-brainer.

    Of course, in a way I’ve come full circle as I use Firefox now. 🙂

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