Azara Blog: Netscape is officially killed off

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Date published: 2007/12/30

The BBC says:

The browser that helped kick-start the commercial web is to cease development because of lack of users.

Netscape Navigator, now owned by AOL, will no longer be supported after 1 February 2008, the company has said.

In the mid-1990s the browser was used by more than 90% of the web population, but numbers have slipped to just 0.6%.

In particular, the browser has faced competition from Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), which is now used by nearly 80% of all web users.
It was quickly a success and dominated the browser market in the mid-1990s.

But other companies followed its success, notably Microsoft, which bundled its Explorer software with its operating systems.

This culminated in a highly-publicised legal battle, which saw Microsoft accused of anti-competitive behaviour.
The demise of Navigator was compounded in 2003 when AOL, which bought Netscape in 1998, made redundant most of the staff working on new versions of the browser.

Many of the staff moved to the Mozilla Foundation which develops the popular Firefox browser. This browser has a 16% share of the browser market.

All good things must end. Of course the spirit of Netscape lives on in Firefox, and other related browsers. But it's always been amazing how easily Microsoft got let off from its blatantly illegal anti-competitive attack on Netscape.

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