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Netscape Finally Put Down

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the gone-the-way-of-old-yeller dept.

Netscape 159

Stony Stevenson writes to point out that Netscape has finally reached end of line with the release of version 9.0.0.6. A pop-up will offer users the choice of switching to Firefox, Flock, or remaining with the dead browser, but no new updates will be released. "Nearly 14 years after the once mighty browser made its first desktop appearance as Mosaic Netscape 0.9, its disappearance comes as little surprise. Although Netscape accounted for more than 80 per cent of the browser market in 1995, the arrival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the same year brought stiff competition and surpassed Netscape within three years."

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They should keep the name ... (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524394)

Its GOT to be worth something.

Besides, there is one banking site that I need that still doesn't like firefox / linux, but works perfectly with seamonkey.

Re:They should keep the name ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524454)

Netscape is only familiar to people who've used the internet 10 years ago. The Joe Sixpacks who picked up a "pooter" 5 or 6 years ago to get on the "internets" never heard of it, or of Firefox.

Just Deserts (2, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524968)

Netscape deserves to DIE DIE DIE, for what they did to Mosaic.

Re:Just Deserts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525732)

What did Netscape do to Mosaic? If anything the genetic forebear of Mosaic is Internet Explorer (Mosaic->Spyglass->Internet Explorer)

Re:Just Deserts (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525988)

If anything the genetic forebear of Mosaic is Internet Explorer (Mosaic->Spyglass->Internet Explorer)
That's what they did to Mosaic.

Re:They should keep the name ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524480)

What does the name mean to you? To me, it mostly means a web browser and company that offered a good solution early, but quickly became bloated (both the company and the web browser) and faded away. I'm sure AOL will retain the trademark, but how much is that "flash in the pan" association really worth?

Re:They should keep the name ... (0)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524902)

Netscape has been dead for years. It's just been Firefox with a different name since 2005 or so.

Re:They should keep the name ... (2, Informative)

IhuntCIA (1099827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525916)

You Sir are wrong. Find and download Netscape 8.1.3 and see for Yourself how wrong You are.
Netscape offered customizable Site Controls. That feature can be used to protect against the malware, if configured correctly.

Re:They should keep the name ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524482)

Besides, there is one banking site that I need that still doesn't like firefox / linux, but works perfectly with seamonkey.

The current version of Netscape is based on Firefox, it has no mailing client or anything sea-monkey specific. They just ported the sidebar from seamonkey to use on Firefox'es codebase.

Re:They should keep the name ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525316)

Maybe he means using the IE engine inside Netscape.

Re:They should keep the name ... (5, Funny)

ockegheim (808089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524552)

Maybe the US government is sponsoring them. You need IE or Netscape to get a US visa [state.gov] . So if, say, you have a Mac or run Linux, then Netscape has a monopoly.

Re:They should keep the name ... (5, Informative)

deblau (68023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524988)

Step 1: about:config
Step 2: general.useragent.extra.firefox=Netscape/6.2
Step 3: reload
Step 4: profit!

Re:They should keep the name ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525154)

step6: waterboard

Re:They should keep the name ... (0, Offtopic)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525632)

step7: mechanical debridement of cranial feces

Re:They should keep the name ... (2, Insightful)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524594)

I might be wrong here, but I think Firefox and Seamonkey (or Iceweasel and Iceape if you're a Debian guy) both render pages in pretty much the same way.

Have you given the user agent switcher [mozilla.org] plugin for Firefox a try?

Re:They should keep the name ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524874)

I think they should now rename Firefox to Netscape.

And 0.06% of the population will have to switch... (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524412)

I loved Netscape [wikipedia.org] back in its day, but this really isn't going to be overly painful for the world in general.

Re:And 0.06% of the population will have to switch (2, Funny)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524468)

The headline: "Put Down" It's like they shot Barbaro [bloomberg.com] . Netscape was not retired out of sympathy (empathy for those of you in Rio Linda) for the browser; The Old Blue N died of natural causes. May she rest in Bittorrent.

They Eat Horses, Don't They? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524718)

Barbaro? At least he didn't suffer the same fate 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand:

http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=17051 [bloodhorse.com]

See you win 3.8 million dollars and still end up the main course at Benihana.
 

Re:They Eat Horses, Don't They? (5, Funny)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524906)

Horseshit! Are you saying that people eat animals?! We need to get this onto the front page of Slashdot, neigh, the Times!!! Is there a gallop poll regarding Japan's or the United States' horse meat consumption? And does it give you the trots?

For Barbaro's sake... the horse had a good run. Making hay from an article about web browsers is to saddle the issue with an agenda; please do not bridle our argument by being a horse's ass. This is a discussion about software, and to jockey animal rights into it is just putting the cart before the horse. So slow down there, cowboy... Reign it in. While I am sure you're chomping at the bit to get this kind of information out, I am fresh out of insensitive horse puns and we will have to put this discussion out to stud.

Polo!

Re:They Eat Horses, Don't They? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525044)

talk about beating a dead horse

Re:They Eat Horses, Don't They? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525844)

Best paragraph I've read all week. I tip my hat to you.

Re:And 0.06% of the population will have to switch (3, Interesting)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524972)

It took awhile for me to come around to using Netscape. Back in the day I preferred using Lynx from a dummy terminal because it was very fast and efficient. At the time the graphics on websites were not very interesting so I didn't feel a need to switch to a graphical browser. Eventually, I started to use Netscape, to surf the web. I can still remember the shooting stars passing by the "N" as my browser perused the ether of the Internet.

It wasn't long after that I became a Netscape bigot. Even after Netscape Communicator came out with its bloated bundled package and IE 4 and 5 started running more efficient I still stood behind Netscape. AOL bought Netscape and things started to slide downhill from there. Remember when AOL was still significant enough to buy out good software companies and rape them? LOL Remember the name AOL-Time Warner? Times have changed. I still continued to use Mozilla up until the Firefox uprising started.

Anyways, sorry to have rambled. Thanks for listing an old man reminisce.

Re:And 0.06% of the population will have to switch (1)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525016)

I remember the throbbing blue N. It used to drive me nuts because the perspective was wrong.

AOL is Death (1, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524414)

Netscape was doing well until AOL bought them. Months ago, AOL announces that dialup is no longer profitable. That's enough proof for me! The CDs are like death spores.

Re:AOL is Death (5, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524430)

The CDs are like death spores.
I think there's a barrio of Mexico City that is made entirely of discarded AOL CDs.

Re:AOL is Death (0)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524556)

I think there's a barrio of Mexico City that is made entirely of discarded AOL CDs."

I think there's a donkey show in Mexico City that is made entirely of discarded AOL CDs.

Fixed. *shudder*

Re:AOL is Death (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525858)

Wow, jokes about AOL CDs - thanks for another memory from the mid 90s! Hey, did you hear the one about how Bill Clinton keeps his ankles warm?

Re:AOL is Death (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524446)

AOL was only able to buy them because they weren't doing well. The only part of Netscape that was worth anything by that point was the netscape.com portal site, which is generally cited as the reason AOL bought them at all. The browser wars were over by that point, and the source code had already been opened up. AOL made a half-assed effort to keep Netscape the browser alive, but I believe even at that point IE was the default browser for AOL clients.

Re:AOL is Death (4, Interesting)

Atomic Fro (150394) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525810)

As I recall, this happened around the same time IE was built solid into Windows 98 and Microsoft's "embrace / extend / extinguish" strategy pumped full blast with "IE Active Channels." Microsoft started MSN as an internet service provider and AOL was a little nervous about Microsoft making Windows rely on MSN. So AOL bought Netscape and kept the browser alive as a bargaining chip. At the time AOL was the #1 internet provider and if AOL made everyone use Netscape, Microsoft's internet strategy would be dead in the water. This threat kept the AOL icon on the desktop of default installs of Windows.

Re:AOL is Death (2, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524728)

Netscape was lucky anybody bought them. IE already had a serious foothold at that point. The dot com bust came, IIRC, two years later. There was no way they were viable as an independant entity. When NS was at 3.x, they had the advantage of not crashing your entire Windows as IE4 installs did. That was why I preferred NS. However, when I got a chance to work with Netscape's customization kit for ISPs, and compare it to the counterpart Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK, or "Eeek!"), it was no contest. IEAK was easy and fast. NS was horribly slow, and when I dug into it I saw the most awful thing: the app you worked with when customizing was the same app the user saw when installing--with lots of JavaScript if statements to detect whether you were an admin deploying, or a customer installing. Yes. The same code. I'm sure this wasn't the only reason they were slow, but it was the most miserable hack I ever saw, and I didn't want to look any further. As MS sorted the kinks out of IE installs, and integrated it into the OS (thus eliminating the risk of what was essentially an OS upgrade), the last advantage of NS evaporated. Their contemporary 4.x offering, Communicator, was just a lot of bloat nobody really needed.

about:mozilla (5, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524432)

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced.
But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird.
The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire
and thunder upon them. For the beast had been
reborn with its strength renewed, and the
followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

The only fitting way for an old sailor to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524464)

Consign her to the briny deep.

And sing a doleful sea shanty.

Yar!

Re:about:mozilla (4, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524512)

Sorry to reply to my own post, but I noticed that the Book of Mozilla is getting another entry [wikipedia.org] when FF3 goes public!:

Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the
fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own image as promised by the sacred words, and spoke of the beast with their
children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower.

from The Book of Mozilla, 11:9

Re:about:mozilla (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524532)

Blast you just beat me... I copied mine from the HTML source to the page in FF3 beta 3.

Re:about:mozilla (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524560)

It's weird. Ubuntu's Firefox 3b3 still has 7.15. I only found the new one because I revisited Wikipedia's article.

Re:about:mozilla (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525992)

Wow... it's even localized (FF 3b3 on Mac OS X):

Mammon s'était endormi. Et la bête réincarnée se répandit sur la terre et son nombre se fit légion. Et ils parlèrent au Temps et ils firent l'offrande de leur moisson au feu, avec la ruse des renards. Et ils bâtirent un nouveau monde à leur image comme le promettaient les paroles sacrées, et ils parlèrent de la bête avec leurs enfants. Lorsque Mammon se réveilla, voilà ! ce n'était plus rien qu'un disciple.

d'après Le Livre de Mozilla, 11:9
(10e Édition)

Re:about:mozilla (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524514)

Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own image as promised by the sacred words [mozilla.org] , and spoke [mozilla.org] of the beast with their children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower.

from The Book of Mozilla, 11:9
(10th Edition)

Re:about:mozilla (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525156)

And then, the REAL OS, and the REAL OWNER of the browser's market came and crushed all the pathetic Linux-geeks dreams. Because Ubuntu, Linux and all the stupid related things only work for people that have no friends besides facebook people and live their lives on WoW. GROW UP AND INSTALL WINDOWS AND IE!!!!!

Nice run. (0)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524438)

Thankfully, this will increase Firefox market share. I am a Firefox enthusiast, having first used it on the RedHat system at work and then forcing it down the throats of all who ask me for free (as-in-I-get-free-beer) Windows support. While Firefox is not without its flaws, it IS without the flaws of Internet Exploder, and in that the project is a respectable and fruitful mix of public service and development enterprise. Firefox is the child of Netscape, and children must bury their parents. Hail, Farewell, and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Re:Nice run. (1, Offtopic)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524942)

forcing it down the throats of all who ask me for free (as-in-I-get-free-beer) Windows support

Insightful???? Take notes slashdotters. This is why IT expertise is undervalued. This is why we get called nerds and are used for our knowledge then discarded as social misfits when a social occasion comes about. Though he's talking about windows his attitude is why Linux never seems to take off on the desktop.

This should be modded -1.

Re:Nice run. (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524966)

What?

Re:Nice run. (1)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525078)

DOOD:

*talked down IE
*talked up FOSS
*forcibly spread FOSS

How could I possibly satisfy you? Develop nukes in mass quantity and take out the world excepting your basement? Fsck you for saying I have an agenda... I help people, real ones, in need of tech support. In exchange for installation and use of FOSS I specify, GNU or "neigh," I help them for beer.

Me and thousands of /.ers like me I presume.

Re:Nice run. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525558)

forcibly spread FOSS

Fsck you for saying I have an agenda..

Error compiling fuzzy logic code. Statements do not parse.
- Contradiction detected
- Bad attitude detected
- Social skills malformed
- Claims to be representative of a free community while forcing own values upon others

Re:Nice run. (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525648)

[...] This should be modded -1.
--
-1:Troll && -1:Flamebait != -1:StronglyDisagreeAndWishToCensor. Look up the definition of flame/troll.

Well, I won't comment the irony of your signature, but sure it is tempting...

Re:Nice run. (-1, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525806)

Well, I won't comment the irony of your signature, but sure it is tempting...

Ah but you just DID comment.

I didn't say he should be modded down because I disagree with him. I said he should be modded down because his attitude sucks. My signature does not say people should never be modded down. Just that it they shouldn't be modded down merely because you disagree. I'm sorry if that's too subtle a difference for you.

A single tear falls.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524440)

I'm pretty surprised it hung on for as long as it did. I found it practically unusable in recent years, every time I gave it a shot out of nostalgia (and amazement that it was still being worked on). I had one Mac user in my office a couple of years ago who insisted on using Netscape Mail 7.0 for her email, despite its many, many pitfalls.

Still, it is sad that MSIE didn't suffer a similar fate, but Firefox is doing a great job in that area...(i.e., killing IE)

Tje King is Dead (1)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524460)

Long Live the King!

Don't celebrate, MS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524472)

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced.
But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird.
The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire
and thunder upon them. For the beast had been
reborn with its strength renewed, and the
followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

Again? (5, Funny)

Chris Burkhardt (613953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524474)

How many times is Netscape going to die?

Re:Again? (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524666)

Ask Atari or Napster. Old trademarks never die, they just get adopted by successively seedier operations.

Re:Again? (5, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524964)

Ask Atari or Napster. Old trademarks never die, they just get adopted by successively seedier operations.

My $30 Polaroid DVD player begs to differ.

Hey, where's that burning smell coming from?

Re:Again? (1)

numbware (691928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524734)

Netscape is very much like a cat in terms of lives. Or BSD.

Re:Again? (1)

kb0hae (956598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525942)

For me, Netscape died when AOHELL bought it. I personnally saw AOHELL destroy the contents of too many hard drives when it was uninstalled after the free XXXX hours (in a month). I tried to warn friends against AOHELL, but many got sucked in. (But its free for a month! they would say). I saw the trouble they had unsubscribing (AOHELL made it very dificult to get away from them), and the results of uninstalling the AOHELL software. Usually all of the contents of your hard drive were so trashed that the only option was to format the drive and start from scratch. AOHELL also had far too few phone lines in the local area, so that busy signals for hours on end were the rule with them. I used a local ISP at the time, and had far better service at a lower price!

All of this made me distrust anything that AOHELL touched. I immediatley switched to other browsers, and email clients. At the point that AOHELL bought Netscape, Netscape might have been bloated, but it was still faster and far superior to IE.

No one factor made Netscape fall from popularity, it was a combination of factors.

Sad.. (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524498)

It's been 11 years for me. From version 2 until my current version 7.2. I'm gonna hang on as long as I can. Firefox just doesn't like me, and I hate Internet Exploder.

Gonna have to try Seamonkey I guess.

11 years... man that was quick.

Re:Sad.. (1)

Raideen (975130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525108)

Wow, a Netscape faithful. I used Netscape from version 2 as well. Damn, did that crash a lot. Netscape 3 was a lot better. Does Netscape still include composer? > I haven't been using SeaMonkey (and haven't seen Netscape since version 7 since I've used FireFox only since 0.7) but based on my previous experience, it should provide a familiar experience.

Re:Sad.. (1)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525230)

I'm another Netscape aficionado. I haven't used it in a while, but still have it installed. Like the grandparent poster, version 7.2. After 7.2, they took out the mail and AIM clients, which were the only reasons anyone would want to use it over Firefox. Also, they dropped Mac and Linux support in version 8, though they did bring it back in version 9.

I eventually switched from Netscape 7.2 because it was getting increasingly dated and some serious security issues were starting to surface. Also, when Netscape finally added IMAP support to its webmail service, the advantage of using Netscape Mail over Thunderbird evaporated. I /still/ miss the integrated AIM client, though. :(

Someone should.... (1, Insightful)

jimpop (27817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524516)

Someone should seriously look at the business side of what happened to Netscape over the past decade. Clearly, IMHO, there is probably a good case to be made that bureaucracy and mis-management killed the beast. How could something so cool, in it's day, navigate (no pun intended) itself into oblivion? I've seen similar things happen with other cool products being absorbed into bureaucratic companies, only to loose market respect and following. I think there is probably enough evidence out there, somewhere, to have several college business and management courses re-written.

er...monopoly power? (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524688)

Oh I dunno. How about just the fact that the software firm that made 98% of all desktops entered the market with their own browser which they (1) gave away for free and (2) bundled with their OS and (3) gave a few nonstandard tricks to, which everyone used (cf. that 98% of desktop), which made lots of stuff not quite Just Work(TM) unless you were using IE?

Without the ability to make a good profit margin on their only product, Netscape had no way to raise the cash required to really innovate. No doubt, superior management could have eked out more from what cash they did have, but a company that has to rely on gifted management and programmers who work 14 hours a day for mere glory is just not going to last, human nature being what it is.

Re:er...monopoly power? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524976)

Without the ability to make a good profit margin on their only product, Netscape had no way to raise the cash required to really innovate.
What the hell are you talking about? Netscape gave away the Netscape Navigator browser for free, so they never really had the ability to make a good profit on it. Their real product was server software, of which they had many kinds [wikipedia.org] for sale. Where MS really started to kill them was with bundling IIS free with WinNT Server.

Re:Someone should.... (4, Interesting)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524710)

Second System Effect [wikipedia.org] . Basically, you make a first version that is lean, does a few things well, and release that. Then in the second system you add a bunch of "it would be cool if..." things, making the second version huge, bloated, and not as good as the first version.

Vista, as compared to Windows 2000, for a big example.

Re:Someone should.... (1)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525034)

Second System Effect [wikipedia.org] . Basically, you make a first version that is lean, does a few things well, and release that. Then in the second system you add a bunch of "it would be cool if..." things, making the second version huge, bloated, and not as good as the first version.

Vista, as compared to Windows 2000, for a big example.
Where does NT figure into that model?

Original Post Mistake (1)

inflamed (1156277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524530)

Although Netscape accounted for more than 80 per cent of the browser market in 1995, the arrival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the same year brought stiff competition and surpassed Netscape within three years.
More like "...hindered competition and outbundled..." if I remember correctly.

Internet Explorer (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524542)

Serving up nonstandard web pages since 1995.

IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (4, Insightful)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524546)

the arrival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the same year brought stiff competition and surpassed Netscape within three years.

I remember well those days. IE was no competition to Netscape, Netscape was much superior. IE2 was unbloated but lacked support for many features that Netscape 3 had, I guess it didn't even support tables, for sure it didn't have frames, Javascript, etc.

IE3 was the worst piece of software I have seen. EVER!

The fact was that Netscape was its own enemy there. Netscape 3 was really good, a lean and fast browser. It didn't have good support for CSS, but was years ahead of IE. Then they launched Netscape Communicator. Man, was it slow. They made the only possible download the bundle of browser, mail, news reader. Even Mozilla when they got the code from Netscape they had it bundled, further on they split it again to launch Phoenix (then Firebird then Firefox) to start getting some success again.

Netscape didn't die from competition of IE, at least not in terms of features. If Netscape wasn't the only one to blame for its own death, Microsoft's part in it was only by bundling the browser into the OS, not by making a product that could compete with Netscape.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (3, Insightful)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524624)

There was no competition. Everyone got IE preinstalled with their computer, so that's what they used.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (2, Insightful)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524696)

There was no competition. Everyone got IE preinstalled with their computer, so that's what they used.

To start off Netscape still blew the doors off IE. Every company I can think of kept Netscape as their browser, it was cutting edge, fast, and what people where used to. It was a better product and therefore, won its way on the desktop even though there was a 'free' alternative. Down the road though Netscape instead of moving towards innovation as IE caught up to it, decided it should focus its sights on suing the evil company that would bundle a piece of software people might want in their operating system. The smart developers knew what the problem was and went off to form what we know today as Firefox, where they put the innovation back in in order to get their browser on the desktop, and guess what, it worked. The better product, sold at a reasonable price will win (hell, Mozilla found out how to give it away and still make money). Mozilla has been picking up market share since it's release, because it's a better product. Yes there are reasons you might just use what came with windows, but if you give the end-user a reason they /need/ the new broswer, they can be persuaded.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524916)

True that.

Sure, millions of Windows users had IE as their first browser because it came with Windows, and never needed to look for another. That's Microsoft's fault, such as it is.

But the millions of people who were already using Netscape at the time and switched away from it because it became the most craptacular web browser ever? That's all on Netscape.

I personally went from someone who mocked IE and never intended to use it, to someone praying for Netscape to die in the space of a few short years. For a while there, half a dozen versions of Netscape all had enough market share that my employer at the time wanted to support them, and those fuckers weren't even halfway compliant with each other, much less open standards or IE.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (1)

icydog (923695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524954)

Ok, I've used Firefox since 0.7 and I think IE is crap, but let's be honest here. Back in the days of IE 4/5 and NS 4-4.7, Netscape was NOT fast by any measure. It was slow to start, slow to load pages, and crashed (at least for me) far more often than IE. Eventually, sometime during the IE 5 or 6 era, I finally gave up on Netscape and switched to IE because IE really was catching up and Netscape was going nowhere.

Times were different then. For the past few years IE has been stagnating, but 8 years ago it was the other way around.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524940)

It wasn't bundled until Windows 98. The huge number of people still running Windows 95 all downloaded IE4 just the same way they downloaded Netscape. IE4 surpassed Netscape to become the better browser at that time (1997).

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (1)

davidpack01 (580365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525192)

Yes it was. My copy of Windows 95 OSR2 came with IE3.

ISP setup kit (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22526020)

Microsoft were giving away a kit for ISPs that installed and configured dial-up networking for new users. The kit also installed the latest version of IE, with ISP customisations: "Microsoft Internet Explorer - provided by BT Overpriced Dialup World". Netscape could have (should have) done something like that too, but Microsoft had a natural advantage since they could provide all the parts of the solution together: browser and dial-up configuration in one place. Lots of people got IE that way, since all the ISPs used the kit. (Presumably the Netscape branded dial-up service would be the only exception.)

I remember trying to fight Netscape's corner, trying to explain why everyone using one browser wasn't a good thing, going around and installing Netscape for people. I found it increasingly difficult, since even by that time it was obvious that Netscape was not improving, and since you still had to pay for Opera there wasn't another alternative. I used the monopoly argument to justify the install: the security monoculture argument never occurred to me as I had no idea that IE would turn out to be so insecure.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (3, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524682)

Then they launched Netscape Communicator. Man, was it slow.

IMO, what really killed Netscape was the nested tables. Without good CSS support, what was the only way to display nice webpages?

Perhaps it was simply shortsight. They didn't have a good code for rendering pages, and it kept bloating, and bloating, and bloating.

IE did one thing right: The display of massively nested tables. I liked IE4. It was slim, nice, and fast. If we follow the story more closely, we'll see that Internet Explorer and Netscape fell in the same trap: Bloat and lack of good development. The only difference is that IE was the default, so it didn't quite die. It was alive, but it kept rotting (getting infected) anyways.

Re:IE was competition? Not from what I saw... (0)

fyoder (857358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524970)

Aye. Using their monopoly control of the desktop to foist what was at the time an inferior browser on people was what first started me feeling hostility towards Microsoft. It led directly to my becoming a Linux user. While I love Linux to bits now, truth is I didn't switch to it because it was a great OS, but rather because it wasn't Microsoft. Almost embarassing to admit that once upon a time I was actually pro-Microsoft. I was even stupider then than I am now. Wow.

You ended your story early. (1)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525520)

You are right up till 4.0

IE 4.0 was finally better than Netscape 4.0

I was a die-hard N user up till 4.0 put me off it for good. IE WAS crap, IE4 was finally better than Netscape 4 from a user perspective when Netscape took a sharp down-turn in quality and stability.

Bury the hatchet (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524570)

Great, what about IE now?

Re:Bury the hatchet (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524822)

That's what we need the hatchet for.

Irony (1)

mooreti1 (1123363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524576)

Ha. How ironic. I get my Slashdot RSS feed from the Netscape website, which is also my homepage. I'm hoping they won't close the portal down.

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525574)

Ha. How ironic. I get my Slashdot RSS feed from the Netscape website, which is also my homepage. I'm hoping they won't close the portal down.

Yeah, you might have to get a Yahoo account or start using that newfangled Live Bookmark feature in Firefox. [rolleyes]

Memories since first getting on the Internet (2, Informative)

COredneck (598733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524586)

I remembered getting on the Internet back in 1994. The browsers available was Mosaic and Netscape 1.0 with the "beating" N. This was on Windows 3.1 with a dial-up connection. There no screen backgrounds yet and the best of all, no annoying pop-up ads. Web pages actually had useful information instead of useless marketing drivel especially looking for technical information on company web sites.

Around the time of Jul 1995, I left Indiana and took a job at MCI in Colorado Springs, CO. We had Sun Solaris machines running Solaris 2.4 and I ran Netscape on the machine. It was Netscape 0.94. At home, I ran Win 3.11 WFW and Linux with kernel 1.1.59. I downloaded a copy of Netscape but the version was 0.94. I didn't quite have Linux working with a dial-up Internet connection yet so I was stuck running Internet on Windows.

I remembered when Netscape got bought out by AOL, it was a sad day. In my mind, I knew that AOL was going to ruin it and in some ways, they did and now, Netscape is no more. Before Netscape got bought out, I would have enjoyed working for them especially at the start of the Dot-Com era.

Netscape is not dead (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524588)

for from the ashes, firefox was born.

Re:Netscape is not dead (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524614)

Type 'about:mozilla' in the address bar.

Why Firefox/Flock, but not SeaMonkey? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524640)

Wasn't Netscape a whole internet suite? Why not direct people to SeaMonkey?

Re:Why Firefox/Flock, but not SeaMonkey? (2, Informative)

erwanl (1209904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524924)

It was, until the version 7. Netscape 8 is based on Firefox 1, and Netscape 9 is based on Firefox 2. So it really makes more sense to send users to Firefox (the base for Netscape) or Flock (a Firefox-based browser, just like Netscape).

I am happy... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524712)

I am happy Netscape is gone. For one, folks will survive the adware that was always included.

The other reason is that for government sites that used to only post support for Internet Explorer and Netscape like this one: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/formspubs/help/adobenotice-e.html [cra-arc.gc.ca] , I can see them mentioning Firefox, which will be good for Firefox. Do you see in the text that mentions Netscape, denying Firefox its rightful place?

go4t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524730)

are the important declined in market agtainst vigorous

Brings back memories. (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524774)

This reminds me, I wonder what Lycos is doing these days.

Re:Brings back memories. (1)

Captain Vittles (1096015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524870)

I wish I had mod points, because that really made me laugh. Ah, the memories of a world before Google.

Re:Brings back memories. (2, Informative)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524880)

Wondoer no more [lycos.com] .

Re:Brings back memories. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22525854)

http://lycos.cs.cmu.edu/ [cmu.edu] is in my head from the day, and it still works!!!

For me, Netscape died when (1)

leamanc (961376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524854)

For me, Netscape died four or five years ago when they tried to sell dial-up service with the Netscape name. "Introducing Netscape!" the commercials proclaimed. How freaking sad...the former champ of the web browsing world, its brand no longer recognizable, selling dial-up in the broadband era.

Was some guy supposed to say, 'Hey, I remember Netscape from back in my days in the college computer lab, searching for Jenny McCarthy scans! I think I'm going to bypass cable or DSL and get this Netscape Internet service!"

Seamonkey (2, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524896)

They should suggest that people switch to Seamonkey, not Firefox. It's (a) suite, after all :) .

Good Ol' Mutt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22524934)

AOL has killed a lot of projects ... Netscape has been a good old mutt but like most dogs they have to get put down once the get old and can't walk.

I love the title of this article !

Finally put down? (1)

spintriae (958955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22524946)

What do you mean finally? I've been putting down Netscape for years.

emaining with the dead browser (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525234)

"It's not dead, it's just restin'."

Re:emaining with the dead browser (1)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525644)

Look, matey, I know a dead brand when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Browser Bukkake (0, Redundant)

Basehart (633304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525310)

Put it away Balmer...it's over

It was their attitude that killed them (5, Interesting)

ImdatS (958642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525470)

Back in 1995-97, I was working for a major European media/publishing company. We were one of their (Netscape's) largest customers having bought around 200 Netscape Publishing System Licenses (NPS) for around USD 80k each! - well those were the good ol' days.

The software was very primitive but it was a solid basis for what we needed - in our company I was responsible for the platform so I came up with a solid specification of what we needed and how Netscape should add this to NPS. We had a meeting on a very high level with Netscape management in Mountain View in September 1996(!) to discuss my paper, which I had already discussed in with Netscape Europe and managed to actually get through to Netscape US.

The meeting was a revelation for me. By that time, the term "Intranet" was becoming a hip-term. There we were, three or four people from our company (by that time, I was "Director International Technology Co-operations" - what a title, isn't it?) - and about five or six people from Netscape.

We explained all our needs again and told them, that we would be of course willing to pay for all these enhancements. I specifically had collected input from another ten or fifteen other media companies from Europe to come up with a neat spec for Netscape - i.e. I did all the job, which they should've done in the first place.

After the explanation and discussion of the paper (three hours or so), one top Netscape manager said: "You know, there are only about 20-30 publishers around the world - but hundreds and thousands of companies needing Intranet solutions. So, therefore, we have decided to go for the Intranet market and thus will drop the media/publishing business. I'm sorry, but we can't implement the spec because it's just a too small market!" (not withstanding the fact that there are hundreds and thousands of media companies around the world...)

I was furious - it was like a ... no, not slap, a fist? A hit with a 10-ton-fist in the face... I was so furious that I stood up and said: "You know guys, with this attitude I think you'll be dead as a company at latest within two-to-three years." - and immediately left the meeting.

My boss came after me and tried to convince me to come back to the meeting (though not wholeheartedly as I could see he was furious as well). So, I actually left the office, the building and waiting outside of the Netscape building in the sun - waiting for my colleagues to come out.

In the end, we left Netscape, went home and I and a small team have implemented what we needed by ourselves and completely dumped Netscape software, including Netscape Web Server (what was it's name), switching to ... I dunno, it was the httpd-server, which was the basis for Apache later on (a-patchy server); we dumped all Netscape software, even including the browser.

That was my experience with Netscape... It was not Microsoft, it was not AOL - it was their arrogant, stupid, high-horsed, customers-don't-count attitude that killed them. It was their f***ed-up management!

No maintenance, no software (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525754)

The sad truth about modern software is with operating system derivatives constantly changing, unless a piece of software is constantly updated & rereleased, it won't work anymore.

Dead Browser? (1)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22525832)

Does that mean that I have to stop using Netscrape 1.1?

When will it all end!

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