Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AOL to Shut Down Netscape Support/Development

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lizard-had-a-good-run dept.

Netscape 247

Kelson writes "After years of trying to figure out what to do with it, AOL is officially discontinuing the Netscape browser. In the four and a half years after they dismantled the development team and spun off the Mozilla Foundation as a lost cause, only to see Firefox take off, AOL has tried twice to reinvent Netscape. There was the chimera-like Netscape 8, which used both Mozilla's and IE's rendering engines, and just months ago they released Netscape 9, trying to ride the social networking wave. AOL will release security fixes through February 1, 2008, after which the browser will officially be dead. For the "nostalgic," they suggest using Firefox and installing a Netscape theme."

cancel ×

247 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

trying to figure out what to do with it,? (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843290)

Easy, give it to me.

To be honest... (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843464)

...I'd say they should give it to someone and that might well be you. The code probably has no significant IP value, there may well be code that could be usefully recycled in Firefox or other Open Source browsers, and it might be the perfect project for someone to gnaw on in their spare time. Abandonware is a pollutant in the IT environment - AOL should "go green" and hand the source to someone who is interested.

Re:To be honest... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843556)

Recently, support for the Netscape browser has been limited to a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.

With Firefox, the netscape skin, and extensions available for download, how much more do they need? Do extensions need to be compiled, or do they remain in script form?

What did Netscape do that Mozilla/Firefox did not?

Re:To be honest... (4, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843686)

What did Netscape do that Mozilla/Firefox did not?

Have collapsible toolbars.

Really, the only thing I miss in Firefox that was in Netscape since 4.something.
Seamonkey has it, though.

Re:To be honest... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843564)

I thought they already did, and that's why we have Mozilla.

Do it the AOL way (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843684)

Or they could just blanket the world with more coasters labeled "You've Got Code!"

Good gosh. (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843292)

I didn't even know Netscape was still around. I think the last time I used it was..2002? It was ages ago. My aunt got her very first internet connection. And she used Netscape. Yeah, it was dial up.

Re:Good gosh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843854)

ah didnn no AOL was steal a -rounn

Version 4 is still useful (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843298)

From time to time I drag out NS version 4 for lowest-common-denominator quick-and-dirty compatibility testing or to use websites whose active content mucks up modern web browsers.

Active-content blockers like NoScript have reduced the need for this but I still keep it around.

Disclaimer: For "real" standards-compliance testing you should be testing against standards not a particular implementation.

Re:Version 4 is still useful (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843636)

Netscape 3.0 was the pinnacle of the Netscape browser. The standard edition (not necessarily the Gold edition) was light weight, fast, and standards compliant. Of course, it also marked the point at which IE really started to catch up with Netscape in terms of stability and performance. Netscape 4 was big, bloated, and marked the peak of Netscape's attempts to "embrace and extend" the standards. It also helped accelerate Netscape's decline.

Of course, I still think the best browser "busy" logo was the multiple animated panes behind the M in Mosaic Netscape 0.9 (before they were forced to change the name by the University of Illinois). Those were of course replaced by one of the worst, the giant pulsating N of Netscape 1.0.

Re:Version 4 is still useful (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843890)

Actually, I'd say that the version that marked the decline of Netscape was Version 5.0....

I think I'm too young to care. (-1, Flamebait)

WizMaster (974384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843316)

Seriously, not many nowadays ever used Netscape and those that did probably hated it (or hate it now). This is kinda interesting and all but isn't there more worthy news out there then the soon to be death of an old browser most people thought died years ago?

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (5, Interesting)

Morky (577776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843450)

Maybe that's true if you only associate with 10-year-olds. But as recently as 1996, it was the only browser worth using, created by one of the most innovative tech companies around.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (1, Troll)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843648)

11 years at the pace technology moves in this day and age is ancient history. Remember the operating system it was running on for most users - Windows 95. We've had 4 iterations since then. And the way Netscape went out, becoming a shitty browser, driving people to IE or other solutions - left a bad taste in people's mouths.

(I do remember... I was 15 in 1997, working for an ISP who installed Netscape as a default browser)

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843846)

Windows 95

Speak for yourself, monkey boy, I first used Netscape back in '94 or '95 (it was a long time ago) on Solaris. Prior to that, I'd been using NCSA Mosiac.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843894)

NCSA Mosaic (I think it was 2.7b1 or something like that) on SCO OpenServer. This was oldSCO, before they sold the Unix division to Caldera.

I believe it was about '97 or so.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843914)

Most. We all know how cool everyone who uses unix is, so there is no reason to point it the fuck out at every fucking opportunity.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843944)

Remember the operating system it was running on for most users - Windows 95.
Windows 3.11 was probably more popular than 95 for as long as NetScape had a lead over IE. Ah, Trumpet Winsock...

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (0, Flamebait)

WizMaster (974384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843672)

Yes, because everyone that wasn't a fetus was online. My first computer was a 98SE (and Red Hat thanks to a "For Dummies" Book) and not exactly during Netscapes hayday. As a matter of fact, AOL is probably the most popular version of Netscape known (well, it's not known it's Netscape). 11 years is a long time and these past 11 years in particular have drastically changed the face of the net. Like I said, I'm probably too young to care.

Re: Fetuses (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843852)

That's because the Fetuses were the CEO's, who were responsible for "spend so far into the hole maybe we'll be profitable in China" business plans.

http://www.cnet.com/4520-11136_1-6278387-1.html [cnet.com]

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843456)

You speak blasphemy, sir! Netscape was a GREAT browser in its heyday (how quickly people seem to forget). In fact, it was pretty much the ONLY browser for a time. People would say "open up Netscape" instead of "open up your browser" just ten years ago.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843484)

god i remember that - and sitting on a 2400 baud modem.. what a wonder the web was at that time..

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (4, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843726)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Slashdot user WizMaster, who is Exhibit 193062847 in the series "What's Wrong With America Today."

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (0)

WizMaster (974384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843776)

WooHoo! I'm famous! On topic: Not like I missed much of an experience as far as I can tell.

Re:I think I'm too young to care. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21844308)

PS I'm being sarcastic. Shut your pie hole,you stupid fucking nigger.

-WizMaster

I remember NS8 (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843322)

I set my dad up with the browser when it came out until he finally replaced his PC with a Mac. It served him a couple years and he was able to surf most pages okay and then use the IE engine on webpages that required it.

I'm not sure what AOL as company is really going to do. Most people have figured out that they don't need AOL to get on the internet and have moved on to broadband solutions. My father used Netscape dial up until he got his Mac and switched to a Phone/DSL/Sat. TV bundle last year.

Re:I remember NS8 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843402)

My first browsers were Cello and Netscape 1. Before MS came along and killed it, Netscape was the king of the internet. I'll never forget how sad it was having to abandon it, as fewer and fewer websites worked properly with it.

Re:I remember NS8 (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844088)

My first browsers were Mosaic in the college computer labs, and Lynx on my dial-up shell connection. Then Netscape 1 once I got PPP access (or was it SLIP? I forget).

I remember reading about Cello and trying to track down a copy, but I don't think I ever got it to run.

Re:I remember NS8 (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843512)

Yeah... Using Netscape 8 would pretty much make anyone switch from PC to Mac.

Re:I remember NS8 (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844168)

Safari has its own host of problems.

Re:I remember NS8 (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843574)

AOL isn't selling access anymore, so the point is moot. They're doing content work and online advertising. The access business will probably still exist for a few more years before the lights are out, but they already fired all the marketing people, most of the customer service people, and many of the access tech people too.

AOL can easily fail, but they already canned the dial up model a few years ago, so the client and all the old AOL stuff isn't the problem any more. Too late? Maybe, maybe not.

That said, they really didn't have much they could do in terms of broadband. By the time broadband was big, the people who actually owned the lines for cable and fiber realized they'd make more money if they kept it to themselves and made sure that you would have to pay very well indeed to run a billion dollar business on their lines. Today, with their calls for tiered access, they are continuing that trend. Google is basically the AOL of this decade, a company whose value is based on their ability to deliver fast search results over someone else's physical connections. Should tiering become commonplace, Google and other content providers could be in a very different world.

Damn it, for a second I thgouht (4, Funny)

microbee (682094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843344)

AOL was shutting down!

Re:Damn it, for a second I thgouht (1)

G33kDragon (699950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843488)

Impossible!

If AOL shutdown, where would people get all their free "Try AOL" coasters?

Re:Damn it, for a second I thgouht (2, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843650)

AOL was shutting down!

... shutting down, shutting down
AOL was shutting down
my fair lady...

Re:Damn it, for a second I thgouht (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844062)

Sorry to get your hopes up!

Already Dead (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843356)

Netscape died years ago.

Netscape 4.7x was the last decent version. Netscape 6 was a horrendous piece of crap and every version since then has just been a crappified version of the Mozilla Suite.

.

Re:Already Dead (1)

tcc3 (958644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843418)

People like to blame MS for dirty tricks in establishing IE as the "standard." This is the real reason. People started using IE because Netscape started sucking.

Re:Already Dead (1)

larien (5608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843618)

Pretty much. IE 3.x sucked, but it was out at the time of Netscape 3.x & 4.0x. 4.0x wasn't too bad, it didn't really suck until 4.5+. By that point, IE was up to 4.0 and actually worked fairly well, at least better than Netscape at the time and even I (rabid anti MS was I was) ended up going to IE because it was better.

The MS tricks just helped the demise, but they weren't the sole reason.

Re:Already Dead (2, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843698)

Again, I wonder if you actually *used* 4.0x. I was one of the early adopters who grabbed 4.0, 4.01, 4.02, 4.03, and maybe 4.04, and they were all slow and unstable (Windows 95 versions). I was disgusted enough to buy a copy of Opera 3.x, which I never regretted. I stopped buying Opera upgrades after 5.x and switched to Mozilla and then Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox.

I suppose I could have used IE3... no, I couldn't have, and I kept hearing about stability problems with IE4 and Active Desktop.

Re:Already Dead (1)

larien (5608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843762)

Maybe I'm being generous to it, but I don't remember it being that bad; we certainly used 4.06 & 4.07 at the time on Window NT. Bear in mind this was the start of my IT career, so I was a lot less cynical back then!

Re:Already Dead (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844186)

That's pretty much the same path I took. Dropped Netscape 4 in favor of Opera 3, used it through Opera 5, then went over to Mozilla, eventually jumping to Firefox.

Though I kept paying for Opera upgrades until they went free-as-in-beer, in part to encourage them to keep developing the Linux version. These days I spend about 60% of my time in Firefox, and 35% in Opera (not counting web development).

Re:Already Dead (2, Interesting)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843900)

I believe most people started using IE because it was an integral part of the operating system. At least I know that's why I did. Why wait all those precious seconds openning up another browser when you have one already running in the background?

Re:Already Dead (4, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844032)

Uh, right, and preinstalling IE with Windows, forcing OEMs to make IE the default, and distributing IE on millions of CDs etc. had NOTHING to do with it. And it can't be that Netscape 'started sucking' because their "air supply" (remember those words?) had pretty much literally been cut off - hard to develop software without money. Puh-lease. I remember those days, and IE3 and IE4 were horrendously crap for years - they only started becoming remotely usable and stable by about version 5, long after the Netscape company had pretty much bought it.

Re:Already Dead (4, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843518)

You're kidding, right? Did you *use* 3.0 and 4.x? 4.x was bloated, unstable dreck that was pushed out the door before it was ready--it was one reason, IMO, why Netscape failed (in addition to MS's malfeasance). 3.x was the last "real" version of Netscape, although 7.2 wasn't that bad (IIRC it was based on Mozilla 1.7), just filled with AOL bloatware.

Re:Already Dead (1)

seriesrover (867969) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843578)

No kidding - 4.x was just horrid. I was coding javascript at that time and our js files were littered with 'if 4.a, else if 4.b, else if 4.c

Re:Already Dead (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843756)

Do I recall some kind of ridiculous refresh bug in one of the Netscape 4.x versions, whereas if you moved the browser on your screen the page refreshed?

Re:Already Dead (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844136)

Do I recall some kind of ridiculous refresh bug in one of the Netscape 4.x versions, whereas if you moved the browser on your screen the page refreshed?

Close. It was when you resized the browser window, and it was present throughout the 4.x series. I was sooooo happy when Mozilla did away with that problem.

Re:Already Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843884)

You've got to be kidding me. Although, I'll forgive those that don't remember the long long history of 4.0. 4.0 was great at first. It seemed to get worse and worse with each revision. I "found" the admin password to the schools network and used it to upgrade Netscape on all of the computers, cause it was much faster, had better javascript support, and crashed less often. I heard from 3rd parties that IT services was both delighted and pissed off. Delighted that they didn't have to do it and pissed off that someone else had done it with out permission.

Re:Already Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843924)

Very true. Its funny, too, since they rushed it out to compete with IE which had finally become better than 3.x. With NS4, many users refused to upgrade and everyone recomended IE for new users. That pretty much kills Netscape, since v5.0 was dropped in favor of a rewrite (Mozilla), and everyone else was rapidly ditching their server software (which is how they made money) because it was utter garbage and good alternatives were emerging.

Pretty much killed them. However, AOL kept Mozilla/Firefox alive since they were employing most developers. Now that the psuedo non-profit foundation raking in money and is self-sufficent, AOL can ditch it. Everyone should thank AOL since if they didn't dump money into the carcus that was Netscape, then Firefox would have long ago been dead and never at a usable state.

Re:Already Dead (3, Interesting)

BlueStraggler (765543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844144)

Netscape 4.x was the last version that was widely released for the Unix crowd. I think it was more "native" on Unix workstations (coming from the NCSA after all) and I never had any problems with stability - despite being forced to use it up to v4.8 because there was no alternative until Mozilla started to become available. Considering the number of platforms they were supporting, I'm not surprised that some were not particularly stable, but fortunately for me, SGI was not one of them, and it's was pretty easy to dismiss Windows 95 and Mac OS users complaints about stability as clearly being related to their choice of OS.

I perused the Xdefaults file for Netscape 4 one day, and it was full of fascinating comments from the developers. A lot of them were expressing bitterness about arbitrary, non-standard, and downright buggy differences between various platforms that they were supporting, which evidently led to a lot of pain and suffering. No surprise that after Netscape 4, the Unix crowd was left in the dustbin - it was the easiest way to cut the number of supported platforms by 80% and focus their development on the PC market.

Re:Already Dead (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843664)

Agreed. I used Netscape for only two times. Never really liked it. The earlier versions were probably better like you say but I never used those versions (to be honest I can't remember). I use Firefox all the time and like it. Looking forward to version 3.0 stable.

Re:Already Dead (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843732)

Perhaps 4.x was decent at some point, but it certainly far overstayed its welcome. My final memories of it was a ugly, buggy POS which I hoped would die in favor of MSIE (this was before Opera and Mozilla really got anywhere). Since then I've stayed with Opera, flirting a bit with Firefox in the days when it got a new name for every release, but as its marketshare grew and sites became more compliant I found the Opera experience to improve just as fast. Netscape past 4.x always felt very strange to me. They were the greatest, handed it away then tried to reclaim it by piggybacking. If they really wanted to stay in the game they should have stepped up (Microsoft's IE bundling and monopoly not withstanding) and delivered a decent product in the crucial years. They utterly failed at that and everything Mozilla/Firefox has achieved has been their own doing IMO.

Re:Already Dead (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21844150)

Netscape died years ago.

But the corpse won't stop twitching!

Releasing 4.08 as late as August 2002 was a bad scare. Then there was the insanity of including the MS Trident engine in 2005.

Releasing incompetent browsers under a once powerful brand name is a real bogeyman for developers - you're afraid it might get enough market traction to have to code exceptions for it.

I want the Netscape name properly buried in history. I admit I'm reading this article for the exact reason some people go to funerals -- I need to confirm the bastard's finally dead.

Re:Already Dead (1)

jakel2k (736582) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844162)

4.7.X was the best of it's time
6 was crap -- Couldn't even uninstall it without messing up the Windows system.
7 was less crap but the damage was already done and was still far worse than 4.7.X -- Didn't even bother giving it a fair shake... it was still worse than 4.7.X.

It was only a few years ago where Firefox was able to climb out of the hole Netscape dug and become the recommended browser by geeks again.

Nostalgia (4, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843358)

For my nostalgia we have the old Netscape icon as a slashdot category image. That's more than enough for me.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843692)

Hey, it's a whole category, maybe that should be shut down after this news. Indeed, the last three stories make interesting reading - Feb 2007 "Will NS9 undo mistakes of NS8?" - Jun 2007 "First peek at NS9" - Dec 2007 "AOL kills NS". Time sure moves fast in Internet-land.

Re:Nostalgia (2, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844294)

For my nostalgia we have the old Netscape icon as a slashdot category image. That's more than enough for me.


In a few years, we can get that same warm feeling when we look at the the AOL icon.

So, did Microsoft really win? (4, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843362)

I'd have to say no, and in fact, their attack on Netscape
probably woke up a lot of people, and Microsoft may regret it.

Re:So, did Microsoft really win? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843486)

Netscape is dead, and IE is still around. You certainly have a funny definition of "win".

Re:So, did Microsoft really win? (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844178)

Well, if you consider that AOL/Netscape dropped out of the race when the Mozilla Foundation picked up the reigns to take its place (i.e., when AOL dumped it), I'd consider the Netscape->Mozilla bloodline is still a front runner.

But if you're talking about in name only, then yeah, IE beat "Netscape" a long time ago.

Re:So, did Microsoft really win? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844226)

Netscape is dead, and IE is still around. You certainly have a funny definition of "win".

But the codebase eventually became Firefox, which seems to be doing a lot better than Netscape these days.

It's kind of like the PC/Mac wars: IBM opened up the PC to clones. The PC platform went on to wild success, even though IBM's PC division dwindled until they sold it off.

Days gone by (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843364)

I will always remember sneaking into the "study" super-late at night, dialing up, and going into chat rooms with Netscape Navigator. I will never forget viewing my first porn website (don't know if it's still around, Babylon-X) using Netscape Navigator. I remember receiving my first email using Angelfire and Netscape Navigator. I even remember the very first file I ever downloaded (a printer driver for an old HP) using Netscape Navigator.

Yup, many of my firsts on the internet involved Netscape Navigator...I haven't used it in years, but I am still a little bit sad to see it go. Goodbye, comet-flying-over-a-global-sized-N...you were the gateway to a hell of a lot in my youth.

Re:Days gone by (4, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843748)

It's not necessarily gone.

Someone could buy the Netscape brand name and donate it to the Mozilla foundation.

We'll all get a kick out of Netscape (previously known as firefox) kicking the ass of IE.

Heck if someone setup an organization to buy that brand name to give it to firefox, I'm paying big $$$

Re:Days gone by (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843844)

I will always remember sneaking into the "study" super-late at night, dialing up, and going into chat rooms with Netscape Navigator.
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=282815&cid=20399823 [slashdot.org]
I will never forget viewing my first porn website using Netscape Navigator.
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=218360&cid=17725066 [slashdot.org]

Re:Days gone by (1)

acsinc (741167) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844154)

"Yup, many of my firsts on the internet involved Netscape Navigator...I haven't used it in years, but I am still a little bit sad to see it go. Goodbye, comet-flying-over-a-global-sized-N...you were the gateway to a hell of a lot in my youth."

Remember the Breathing 'N'? That was the last version that really liked, not sure what the number was though - or if it was only for Mac.

Perhaps (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843366)

if AOL had not been pushing MSIE at the same, they might have been able to take it someplace. As it is, they could have expanded into cable or sats when they have money, but are slowly watching themselves die.

Long live.. (4, Funny)

loconet (415875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843376)

Long live Mosaic and the N. That 8bit pron you delivered on my desktop during the mid 90s opened the door for many good times. You shall be missed old friend.

Re:Long live.. (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843562)

That 8bit pron...

pr0n

/fixed, no charge for this one

Re:Long live.. (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844004)

That 8bit pron you delivered on my desktop during the mid 90s opened the door for many good times.

Goatse guy? Is that you?

Damn! I was just ready to upgrade from Mosaic! (1)

kubusja (581677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843386)

Damn! All these bubble products - they live so long! Products with full version number below 10 can not be considered a mature one... I was just ready to try NS 10 ... I will have to stay with good old Mosaic ...

New corporate entries in the Mozilla camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843420)

Out with the old, in with the new. Perhaps that leaves some room for new entries Spicebird and SupraSphere:

http://mozillalinks.org/wp/2007/12/spicebird-brings-mozilla-based-collaboration/ [mozillalinks.org]

http://www.suprasphere.com/ [suprasphere.com]

It seems like anything to start earning market share has to do something different than just being a clone. Even though Netscape was the original and cloned into oblivion, it lost the leadership position and wasn't able ever to establish itself as doing anything innovative that others would want to clone.

AOL WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843422)

They had netscape and winamp and they blew it. Props for funding Mozilla but the subsequent success should be sounding the alarm bells with AOL stockholders.

Mosaic For Life Dawg (1)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843436)

...Spillin' a 40 for my dead homies...

A bad way to die (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843442)

I haven't used Netscape in quite a few years, but I hate seeing it die like that. It used to be a proud trademark - it stood for something - and ended up as yet another AOL castoff. I wish they'd transfer the name to the Mozilla Foundation. While I'm sure they wouldn't use it, at least it would be next to its child where it belongs.

Christmas comes late (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843472)

That's awfully nice of them. Now if they'll just do the same to their other offerings, the world would be a better place.

Ah well, one thing at a time.

Gonna miss it (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843496)

Firefox has taken over for a long time... but Netscape was the stuff back in the day. Sad to see it pass away.

Good! (5, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843534)

AOL bought Netscape as bargaining power against MS, but then never actually used it that way. Instead, they mistreated what is arguably the most well known brand from the early days of the net in ways that only AOL could. Any other company would have built up Netscape. AOL lets it rot, then bastardizes it with every hare-brained scheme they can think of (dialup ISP, frankenbrowser, lame Digg knockoff), each further damaging the brand. The only smart thing AOL did that had anything to do with Netscape was to create the Mozilla foundation.

Now AOL is just as weak, having abandoned their walled garden, missed broadband altogether, and their only relevant public service is AIM, which has taken off to such a point that they simply aren't capable of killing it, no matter how incompetent they are.

Rest in peace, Netscape. Your long suffering at the hands of your caregiver is at an end.

(Why do I suspect zombie Netscape will rise from the grave in a year or so, when some new executive needs a name for a new pet project? BRAAAAIINNSSS 11.0, now with 250 gazillion free hours of shambling!)

Re:Good! (5, Informative)

asa (33102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843620)

> The only smart thing AOL did that had anything
> to do with Netscape was to create the Mozilla
> foundation.

Actually, AOL didn't create the Mozilla Foundation. Mitchell Baker created the Mozilla Foundation and as part of that endeavor she solicited donations from AOL and several other large companies. AOL was convinced to donate $2M over 2 years, a couple of trademarks, and some hardware. Other organizations also donated cash, equipment, bandwidth, and full-time staff to the early Mozilla Foundation. There's no doubt that AOL's donation was significant, but it can hardly be said that they created anything.

- A

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844166)

AOL bought Netscape because they wanted access to the economic value Netscape's alleged victim-hood at the hands of MS would bring. That was the only value the company had. After MS lost the government anti-trust case, AOL got their payday. Their only mistake was that they paid way too much for Netscape, so they lost money overall.

AOL is irrelevant (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843548)

Netcraft confirms it & everything.

But seriously, does AOL have any market relevance left? Besides, who uses Netscape anymore besides nostalgiaphiles and AOLers?

Re:AOL is irrelevant (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843596)

AOLers don't use Netscape, they use AOL browser, which is a re-skinned IE with extra bloat.

Re:AOL is irrelevant (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843728)

AOL's market relevance is as a warning to other ISPs: This is what happens when you replace net neutrality with a walled-off garden of preferred content.

Re:AOL is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21844204)

>> does AOL have any market relevance left?

I think they should move into the furniture market. All the coasters in my living room are upside down "AOL 90-day Free Trial" CDs.. (I'm not lying).

Or maybe they should make wind chimes with them...

Or, I could collect a bunch of those CDs, assemble them into a huge mirror that I could then aim at things to set on fire! bwhaha

Nutscrapes Downfall (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843560)

Netscapes downfall was due in no small part to this ridiculous bug in Netscape 7 which made it the laughing stock of many people. worst bug ever [dwarfurl.com] [harvard.edu]

Re:Nutscrapes Downfall (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843598)

Well, am I surprised to see a mymincity link under that one as well?

Especially since I don't remember any kind of critical, infamous bug in Netscape 7.

Re: Brilliant AC this time! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844202)

You gotta hand it to the HoldenFohoot this time.

Yahoo: We did not find results for: "worst netscape bug".

Google: Your search - "worst netscape bug" - did not match any documents.

MSN live search: We did not find any results for "worst netscape bug".

Ask: Your search for "worst netscape bug" did not match with any Web results.

The Daily WTF (5, Funny)

tieTYT (989034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843570)

I once read this interesting Daily WTF/Worse Than Failure article about Netscape and how AOL's marketing team was screwing with it. For the life of me, I can't find the article. But one of the things they did was realize that pop-up blocking was one of the new cool things for browsers to have. But the marketing team stepped in and said, "Hold on just a second. We can't have the browser blocking OUR pop-ups." So they added rule to block all pop-ups except those that came from the netscape web page.

The netscape homepage happened to have a pop-up on it and of course, this is the default home page of the browser. When you initially ran netscape, first thing you saw was a pop-up and the page behind it claiming, "New Feature: pop-up blocker".

Re:The Daily WTF (4, Funny)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843806)

When you initially ran netscape, first thing you saw was a pop-up and the page behind it claiming, "New Feature: pop-up blocker".

What would have made that perfect is if the pop-up itself was advertising the pop-up blocking feature.

blink (5, Funny)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843662)

<blink>:(</blink>

Netscape is not dead (2, Informative)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843880)

It lives on in SeaMonkey. Not only in the concept, but also the default theme, which looks just like Netscape 4.

I actually paid for it (3, Funny)

jbrower (775624) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843882)

I distinctly remember buying Netscape Navigator (or was it Communicator) from a local "Stop 'n Save Software" store which later turned into an EB Games. I suppose it was back in 1996 and the price was something like $40-$60. I still have the 5 diskettes it came on stuck in a drawer somewhere. Prior to that I used Mosaic.

AOL blew it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843918)

When they first acquired Netscape, I thought for sure they were going to release AOL branded PCs running Linux with a Netscape browser. Imagine if they could ssh into your box and fix problems for you (perhaps after you boot off a recovery cd if things were really borked); basically they could have marketed it as a "zero maintenance" pc. They could have bundled the cost of the machine and internet at a reasonable monthly cost (PCs were running about $1000 at the time). It would have been interesting indeed if this had happened.

Throbbers. (1)

phooky (645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843942)

Ah, I miss the throbbing "N". From the FAQ [wisc.edu] :

Q. What's up with that throbbing "N"?

A. We are in the process of having a new logo designed, and the throbbing "N" is a placeholder. It's apparent that it's not going to win any aesthetics awards, although a very vocal 2% minority really likes it a lot.

Not just a browser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843962)

I used Netscape for a long time, and when I say that, I refer to not just the Netscape browser, but to the Netscape "bundle", if you will. To this day, the Netscape (and later Mozilla) interactive HTML editor is my favorite tool for creating web pages. Granted, I've never tied to create fancy-dancy AJAX pages with it, but it has always served my needs, with simple use where composite previews, GUI-mode editing, and ASCII HTML editing only tabs away, and the modes were fully interchangeable at any time. In fact, just the day before yesterday, I was hunting through my disto's packages for a good HTML editor, and didn't find one that I liked as well.

I also, to a lesser extent, enjoyed using the Netscape email and browser clients for a long number of years, and was satisfied with them. Other people reported horror stories about them, but for some reason, I don't recall ever having an issue with them (maybe it depends on browsing habits), aside visiting occasional Microsoft whoring site where IE is the only browser allowed. But thats a different topic called "How to Design a Web Site Like an Idiot".

What about (1)

Inqy (985580) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843996)

The Amazing Netscape Fishcam?

soon to be followed by another death (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844108)

netscape's death will soon be followed by the death of another relic of the early internet

namely, AOL

AOL Needs to Loosen Their Grip (4, Insightful)

Jekler (626699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844194)

The one time they let one of their projects breathe, it turned into Mozilla. Once they realized it wasn't their property that was inherently faulty, they tightened that grip right back up figuring if they just squeezed hard enough maybe they could make another diamond. They're so desperate to turn everything they own into a revenue generator, they'll do it at the expense of the product itself. Yes, every company needs its projects to make money for them, but you can't sacrifice your racing horse for good luck in the race.

They only think of their products in terms of themselves, they don't look at them from a customer viewpoint. I don't think the people in charge at AOL ever stopped to ask "Why would someone want Netscape?" they ask "How can we make Netscape represent us?"

It's like they think of their products as sales reps. Forget that big deal you landed 5 years ago, how are your numbers this week? They want it to make another big score, but without any resources. Coffee is for closers.

Netscape had numerous chances to work its way into people's hearts and minds but they never added a single feature people would actually want. Every feature they added was self serving. The company is just all backwards; they don't want to make great products, they want their products to make them great.

Another netscape nostalgia (1)

RobDollar (1137885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844250)

Further to other replys, Netscape was my first browser, and with this news post it does bring back a lot of memories. (A fair few of "pron" admitedly, before we had to type typos of words so lycos and altavista wouldn't misreport) It's also very interesting to realise how prevelent Netscape was back in the day, and just how far it's fallen. I'm also still convinced that if you hovered your mouse cursor over the little "key" icon in the bottom right toolbar, somehow magically your nude pictures of ladies will load up faster. All those memories are gone now, like tears in the rain, time for Netscape to die.

Thanks to them browsers are free (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844292)

Netscrape started the whole free browser thing with free betas and previous versions, the current version was the only one technically that cost money. Then they threw fits when MS released IE for free. Then they got bloated and other free competition outpaced them. So they got trampled by the market they created.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?