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AOL cuts Netscape staff

America Online on Tuesday said it has laid off 50 employees involved in Web browser development at its Netscape subsidiary amid a reorganization of its Mozilla open-source browser team.

The move affects less than 10 percent of Netscape employees, according to an AOL representative, who added that the company plans to continue to support current versions of the Netscape browser and the Netscape Web portal. "Netscape remains a key part of our multibrand strategy," AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein said. "We will continue to support the browser and the portal."

The layoffs mark the latest setback for AOL subsidiary Netscape Communications, which has fought an increasingly lopsided battle with Microsoft for browser market share. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is currently used by more than 90 percent of Web surfers, according to site visitor statistics published by Google. Netscape suffered its latest blow at the hands of its parent last month, in a sweeping deal with Microsoft guaranteeing that AOL would offer Internet Explorer as the default browser to subscribers to its proprietary online service for the next seven years.

News source: C|Net News.com

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