Sorry Netscape fans – AOL has just announced last Friday that they have stopped development of the Netscape browser, claiming that the old brand has little chance (or none if you want to be more straight to the point) of ever regaining its market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. According to AOL, development on Netscape is at a very pitiful stage at this point in time, devolved recently into a “handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.” That’s pretty sad considering how even Firefox has surpassed Netscape in terms of browser share ever since the open source browser was released.
According to Tom Drapeau, director of development, “While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.” For a brand that once commanded 90% of the browser market, this is an interesting case study on how a mighty giant can fall if it does not have the foresight to further develop on its hindsight, especially even more so in the fast-paced computing world where technology moves at a speed greater than Speedy Gonzales himself.
Currently, Netscape Navigator accounts for less than 1%, and this has deflated any interest AOL has left on investing in it to revive the brand. Instead, AOL has decided to use whatever money it has left on its transition into an ad-supported Web business. Looks like the Mozilla Foundation is left all alone in the fight against IE, and I must say the odds of Firefox surviving is much greater since it poses a more substantial threat to IE than Netscape ever did. It is a sad day to see Netscape reduced to such a situation indeed. What were some of your favorite memories of the Netscape era?
Source: Information Week