Friday, December 28, 2007

R.I.P. Netscape

AOL have today indicated that they are to discontinue development and support for the Netscape Navigator browser as of 1st February 2008. From that date, there will be no more active product support for Navigator 9, or any previous Netscape Navigator browser. This includes Netscape v1-v4.x, Netscape v6, Netscape v7 Suite, Netscape Browser v8, and Netscape Navigator/Messenger 9. While AOL will still provide download links to old versions of Netscape, they are now actively recommending that existing users download Mozilla Firefox.

In its heyday back in the 1990s, Netscape Navigator was probably the best web browser available and, as a mainly Mac user, I used to prefer Netscape Navigator and Communicator over the alternative Microsoft Internet Explorer before we were introduced to the likes of Safari, Mozilla and Camino, etc. It'll be sad to see it die off completely but it had been pretty awful as a browser since the diabolically bad version 6 and had only recently been rebuilt using the Firefox source code.

It's gone kind of full circle really since it gave birth to the Mozilla foundation when the Netscape code was released to the Open Source community. I suppose you could Firefox and Thunderbird are its progeny and with those as successfull as they are, it can now pass away quietly into history - R.I.P. Netscape!

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