The official death of Netscape Navigator

AOL will officially pull the plug on the Netscape Web browser next week, which raises the question: Netscape is still alive? The rise and fall of Netscape is a reminder of just how quickly technology changes – and a warning to approach battles against Microsoft cautiously. Netscape was founded in 1994, and quickly won customers by providing software that made it easy for people to navigate the Internet. Netscape went public a year later and saw its stock price nearly triple on its first day of trading. At one point, the company had an $8 billion market cap and 90% of the Web browser market. But soon it all went south. Microsoft introduced its Internet Explorer browser and began eating into Netscape's market share. Microsoft later paid AOL, which bought Netscape in 2000, $750 million to settle antitrust charges.

View: Netscape 9 Users
Link: Netscape

By the late 1990s, the handwriting was on the wall, and for the last several years the company has been little more than a footnote. Today, Netscape has less than 1% of the browser market. At the end of December, AOL announced it would stop supporting Netscape on February 1, but ended up giving the browser a one-month stay of execution. This week, the diehards who still use Netscape's browser received a notice telling them it was time to start using either the Firefox or Flock browsers — for some reason Netscape didn't suggest switching to Explorer – officially marking the end of an era. I remember using Netscape back in the old days when noone cared about IE, but the times of glory are definitely over.

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51 Comments

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I'm a netscape fan. I love this browser. I started using 6 months ago. It was so good althought it had some plugin problems. It was a sweet browser. But since the firefox has arrived. People are forgetting netscape. There's no much of a difference between netscape and firefox.

I'm not firefox fan but i need to use it because netscape is closing.

Firefox is good but it does eat the memory sweetly. I had so many bad incidents with firefox. Sometime crash, sometime hung sometime close automatically.

Firefox was introuced in replacement of Nescape couple of years ago.

Nevermind. They did made a big change. After 6 months, i felt comfortness when using it.

Overall, Internet Explorer is the best in my point of view. I dont use it quite often.

the truth in why Netscape lost the war, was IE 6 and navigaotr 6, IE 6 was good, Navigator 6 was reallllllly ****, i used to be a netscape man until they brought out version 6 and it didnt load half the webpages, i went to ie6 out of necesity to browse. it never came back from there

(sibot said @ #29)
haha anyone remembers NeoPlanet Online :P

ME! It was the bomb lol. I actually had some of my suggestions used in future releases. Good times good times.

Netscape only brings back bad memories of the old old computer labs in schools, where you had to do a research paper on no one you've ever heard of before, and/or something you didn't care about.

Thank god it's dead... I could never bring myself to using Netscape ever again in my life.

Lyle I would have to agree with you on that one. I never liked Netscape even when it was the darling back when it was king of the browser market before IE took over. It looked cheap, and never liked the GUI, and in college was forced to have to use it. RIP Netscape your time has come and gone... BYE

(toddyvol said @ #1)
Wasn't it killed off once before? Brings back memorials of the CompuServe days.

Not officially like this, but I had Compuserve as my first ISP in '94 and had a eg: 1234567890(similar number)@compuserve.com for e-mail address.

I eventually switch and moved to Netscape from Mosiac which was bundled with CS software. I stayed with Netscape until IE4.0 came bundled with Windows NT4.0.

NN used to be the $hit, back in the day. I loved it and wouldn't use anything else. I started my basic web design with Netscape. I totally forgot about it. Oh well too bad. RIP

After I saw this article I installed Netscape Navigator 9 on my vista laptop. It's great, it likes Firefox but with some extra tweaks to make things a bit better.

Netscape 2 was the first browser I used when I FTP'd it off their site in 1995. Even since IE 4, I never looked back. RIP Netscape

(Skyfrog said @ #19.1)
Windows 3.11 was released over 14 years ago.
Navigator 9.0.0.6 was released a few days ago.

Great analogy. :rolleyes:


err..actually, Netscape Navigator browser was released long time ago (it was version 4.6 I think around 1996), so it's been years

(Skyfrog said @ #19.1)
Windows 3.11 was released over 14 years ago.
Navigator 9.0.0.6 was released a few days ago.

But nobody used both for the past 10 years... :P
Anyway, learn to take a joke...

(:: Lyon :: said @ #19.2)

err..actually, Netscape Navigator browser was released long time ago (it was version 4.6 I think around 1996), so it's been years


Netscape Navigator 9.0, the browser, is what this article is about.

Firefox is unaffected by this, although the latest Netscape was based on Firefox (and not just Gecko), it was just a bloated firefox (imo).

I quit using Netscape a long time ago. It was a simple choose of using a Browser that would crash and or take the OS with it or using IE which worked good and did not take down the OS if it did crash. On top of that I did not have to pay for IE Netscape was shareware at the time.

Once the mozilla suite was available, I stopped using netscape completely. Then eventually switched to firefox. It's kinda sad to see them go as the were one of the first big companies to go open source and were always better than ie imho.

I remember when Netscape was the top dog...then Microsoft came and introduced IE. I kept using Netscape til' around 2000, then switched to IE (at least til Firefox came around). Ultimately I think what sounded the death knell for
Netscape was pretty much the beginning battle with IE. Remember, Netscape was still shareware at the time of
Win95, while IE was free as a download, as well as integrated with 95.

And with the herd, it was "Do I download a shareware app on my (then common) 14.4, or do I use what's already
on my Win95 computer?" I think we can all see the results. Didn't matter that IMO Netscape was far better than IE
at the time, too many people will put up with mediocrity as long as it's free.

The first time I ever saw (or heard of) the internet was on a friend's old 486 with Windows 3.1 on it. I was just playing around with it and clicked on the Netscape icon to see what it was. I remember the 33.6 modem started screeching as it dialed up, and then waiting and waiting for anything to even start showing up. The most interesting thing was watching the Navigator throbber up in the corner with it's meteors falling. I think I closed it after waiting ten minutes and only half the page loading. Not a very good first impression of the world wide web.

Its sad to see Netscape going away, dont remember what version it was, but netscape was the first internet browser I used..then IE came and came as default in Windows. Right now though im running the latest Netscape Version, and Im loving it...Will be my default for some time, before I decide what client to get next...

R.I.P Netscape..

Oh. those days of Netscape v 0.8, Trumpet Winsock, flakey 9.6kbps Internet dial up connections, and the feeling of controlling a computer that was the other side of the world. They felt like pioneering times... little more than 15 years ago.

I remember the first thing I ever downloaded, FTP'ing "The Terrorist's Handbook" from the University of Michigan. How life has changed!

(boho said @ #11)
Oh. those days of Netscape v 0.8, Trumpet Winsock, flakey 9.6kbps Internet dial up connections, and the feeling of controlling a computer that was the other side of the world. They felt like pioneering times... little more than 15 years ago.

I remember the first thing I ever downloaded, FTP'ing "The Terrorist's Handbook" from the University of Michigan. How life has changed!

I didn't even have Netscape originally, I used Lynx and a shell account on escape.com for about a year because I was still using an Amiga 2000. I'd FTP through the shell account and then download using the sz command AFAIK (memory is getting foggy). Eventually I bought a PC. The internet was a large part of the reason I dumped the Amiga.

http://lynx.browser.org/

And who hasn't downloaded the Terrorist's Handbook? Probably real terrorists.

Anybody remember Netscape Navigator 3.0 Gold? I believe the downfall started when they introduced the Communicator suite when it hit version 4. That package was a mess. I siwtched to IE4 full time and never looked back.

A sad sad day. I personally was never a fan of Netscape - but what it represented, the first browser wars, the icon, the dual-coding websites back in the day...

Wow, that was a long time ago.

What a shame. Netscape was the best browser by far at one time. Well a long time ago now. Before AOL ruined it.
Sad to see it go, seeing is that if it weren't for Netscape, there may never have been an Internet, as we know it today anyways. Alot of people probably don't realize that though.
I remember when Internet Explorer first came out, and was absolutely useless compared to all the Netscape browsers that had been out befor IE even existed. IE actually never came close to being usable until IE 6.
Oh well. I gave up on Marc Andreesen bringing us back a great browser many years ago now, was just a hope, lol.

(LUTZIFER said @ #6)
...Before AOL ruined it.

Microsoft killed it off long before AOL... spent for ever, turning it into bloat.

The original Netscape's death was a combination of it's continuing loss of quality and Microsoft's aggressive push of IE. I think Netscape Navigator 4 was the last decent version, and it was getting outdated by the time the last version of Navigator came out (4.07 I think). They started with the whole Communicator thing at that time, focusing on bundling more and more stuff into the browser and bloating it up rather than concentrating on compatibility.

The Netscape Navigator that is dying next week is actually nothing more than a port of Firefox (ironic since Firefox itself was based on the old Mozilla Suite, which was based on Netscape Communicator). It's a nice browser, the first good version of Netscape in years. The problem is it's a bit redundant since you can just use Firefox instead.

this reminds us of why we dont have to give too much power to microsoft, and why EU its doing what they are doing and here cant do. Kudos to them.

Absolutely right, let us not forget Microsoft broke them with it's Manopoly position, and evil practices (stopping computer manufacturers installing other software) RIP

(boho said @ #4.1)
Absolutely right, let us not forget Microsoft broke them with it's Manopoly position, and evil practices (stopping computer manufacturers installing other software) RIP :cry:

Tell you what, if I just got my new computer, I'd kick whoever's ass for putting Netscape on there. Hell, I don't even want IE for that matter either, but having TWO browsers I don't want would be worse. I still need IE for some websites as well as downloading Firefox anyhow.

(Dakkaroth said @ #4.2)
Hell, I don't even want IE for that matter either, but having TWO browsers I don't want would be worse. I still need IE for some websites as well as downloading Firefox anyhow.

Once upon a time Netscape was good. IE3 was over blown, and the first incarnation of IE4 was a bloated bug ridden disaster. I well remember a Journalist making the most grovelling retraction after he warned "your computer will crash and burn if you install IE4...". The retraction started: "I would like to explain, under no circumstances will your computer catch fire if you install IE4..." and another half a page of repeated apologising.

I was thinking the same thing. How many times can it come back??? Starting to think Netscape is a Rapper or Pro Athlete. When you retire....retire

thats it , cause Netscape is a joke now, but back in the day it was a solid browser.

so all-in-all it was a good thing they shut it down.

cause nowadays Firefox is where it's at cause netscape got to bloated.