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Print 30 comment(s) - last by Nik00117.. on Jan 3 at 6:48 AM

AOL kills Netscape Communicator, says use Firefox instead

AOL was one of the first companies to help get people online and one of its largest acquisitions was of Netscape Communications Corporation in 1999.

At one point, Netscape held around 90% of the browser market. Market share numbers show that Netscape currently has a mere 0.60% of the browser market. The industry leader is Microsoft with its Internet Explorer holding 77.35% of the browser market share.

When AOL bought Netscape, the process of converting Netscape Communicator into an open source application called Mozilla had already begun. According to The Netscape Blog, internal teams within AOL have invested time and energy into reviving Netscape Navigator but have been unable to gain any traction. Support for Netscape Navigator was limited within AOL to a “handful” of engineers who were tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.

The demise of Netscape Navigator is blamed on AOL’s transition to an ad-supported web business leaving little money for the investment required to get Netscape to the point where it is expected to be by its fans and AOL.

AOL says that support for the current version of Netscape Navigator will end on February 1, 2008 and after that date there will be no active product support. Fans of Netscape communicator are encouraged to download Mozilla Firefox and use the Netscape extensions which will provide the same look and feel Netscape Navigator users are accustomed to. While the Netscape Navigator browser will no longer be supported, the Netscape.com portal will continue to operate.

AOL has gone from one of the most popular Internet service providers at the dawn of the Internet age to a has-been in recent years. In October of 2007 AOL laid off 20% of its workforce in attempts to stave the cash loss from the mass exodus of its subscribers.

AOL was also rocked by scandal in August of 2006 when it released the search histories of 650,000 users without permission -- a mistake many see as one of the first nails in the AOL coffin.



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I hate to say this
By Christopher1 on 12/31/2007 3:45:24 PM , Rating: 1
but does anyone really care about Netscape Navigator anymore? I used it for a little while when I first got into the internet 10 years ago, but after that..... I didn't really use it, I downloaded IE and never went back.

Now, I am onto combined Firefox and IE7 (using IE7 for most of my surfing and Firefox for 'sketchy' sites), and hadn't even looked at Navigator until I saw this article.




RE: I hate to say this
By mindless1 on 12/31/2007 6:36:43 PM , Rating: 1
True, but maybe some AOL users?

I can't pretend to know what the crowd around here uses, by percentage, but here are some stats from the top 8 at one 'site. I suspect Firefox has a higher average on technically oriented 'sites, I do vaguely recall it broke 10% usage a while back.

Internet Explorer 81.5 %
Firefox 7.7 %
Safari 3.5 %
Mozilla 3.3 %
Unknown 1.9 %
Netscape 1.2 %
Konqueror 0.2 %
Opera 0.1 %


RE: I hate to say this
By Hare on 1/1/2008 8:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Tech oriented sites may affect percentages but there are big differences between continents. Firefox is bigger in Europe. According to French web metrics firm XiTiMonitor Firefox has 45.4% share in Finland. In over 30 European countries FF has over 30%.


RE: I hate to say this
By mindless1 on 1/3/2008 3:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
The prior stats from a site I maintain do receive over 40% access from non-US 'sites during a large percentage (roughly 50%) of the year as the 'site pertains to seasonal content... well I mean it pertains to that except for other content I put on that has a more global appeal, (and no, copyright worrywarts, it's not music or warez).


RE: I hate to say this
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/1/2008 10:35:46 AM , Rating: 3
Last month was 62% FF, 32% IE, 3% Opera for DailyTech.


RE: I hate to say this
By Nik00117 on 1/3/2008 6:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
Also have to understand the majority of DT readers are not your typical users at all. The typical user (90%) area most likely hasn't even so much as heard of firefox, and simply uses hotmail for e-mail likes to ebay once and a while and occassional get directions for some place. Maybe do a bit of homework for their essays at school etc. But DT users are not typical users.


RE: I hate to say this
By mindless1 on 1/3/2008 3:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, it's either incredible or damning to those rating posts that I receive a "0" for providing pure scientific EVIDENCE. Yes let's ignore any evidence. I'm not saying it's equal to worldwide averages, just one point that incredibly people thing a downrating will make less effective truth of one server? WOW the system is flawed!


RE: I hate to say this
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 9:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
To me, Firefox + Thunderbird together are pretty much the next-gen version of Netscape.


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