Friday, February 29, 2008

R.I.P, Netscape Navigator

The first commercial web browser is going the way of... well, pretty much everything else from the 1990s that had anything to do with computers.

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

In the mid-1990s, as the commercial web began to take off, the browser was used by more than 90% of people online.

Its market share has since slipped to just 0.6% as other browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox have eroded its user base.

The company recommends that users upgrade their browser to either Firefox or Flock, which are both built on the same underlying technologies as Navigator.
I never used Netscape Navigator. I didn't really become an Internet user until the late 1990s, after Internet Explorer became ubiquitous. Frankly, I didn't even know Navigator still existed.

Still, it's interesting to note the imminent passing of this truly groundbreaking application that helped to make the Internet a fact of life.


Suricou Raven said...

Netscape was very big, back in the day - in technology it had the lead on IE for years. IE eventually took over, but it wasn't through any kind of fair market process - Microsoft bundled it with windows, and because it was bundled it was the one everyone turned to first for convenience. They were eventually fined for this, but by then they had taken over the market and solidified their position.

There has been a series of events like that - areas where Microsoft's products have become dominent dispite being technologically inferior, because they have behind them skilled businessmen and a certian willingness to bend the rules and use quite unfair tactics such as bundling. Its one of the reasons geeks dislike Microsoft so.

In its final years, Netscape was really nothing more than the firefox engine with a Netscape-themed skin.