Netscape Browser Finally Killed Off

Culmination of a slow, slow death.

One of those we-thought-it-was-already-dead-but-wasn’t-stories.

Netscape Navigator, the pioneering web browser which first arrived in the late 90s and briefly shook, rattled and rolled Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has finally been culled, long after its market share and loyal user base sadly dissolved.

In a formal statement on Friday owner AOL made a statement on the official Netscape blog explaining:

“While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. 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.

AOL’s focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be. Given AOL’s current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.”

As far as hard facts go, security patches for Navigator 9 and all previous versions will come to an end on 1 February along with active product support. As the statement said, its recommendation is to move to its protégé Firefox rather than IE (a viewpoint virtually all members of TR would heartily endorse) and for those still wishing to remain in denial, the Netscape ‘Netstripe’ skin for Firefox will offer some consolation.

So long fine Navigator you shall be missed (even though we thought you had long since kicked the bucket…).

Netscape Blog

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