Saturday, December 29, 2007

R.I.P. Netscape

America Online announced this week that it has stopped
development on the once wildly popular browser, Netscape.
Ten years ago, in the Web-browsing world, Netscape was
The Bomb! People loved Netscape. It was the first real
Web Browser that had a simple interface and was generally
fun to use. I, like many at that time had just escaped
the clutches of America On Line (AOL) and I was branching
out in my web-searching adventures. Don't get me wrong.
In the mid-90's AOL was where it was at. It was definitely
a step above Prodigy (My first online venture), but as with
most things in life, you graduate onto something new and
better, and in 1997 I stopped using AOL. Netscape was then
the browser of choice. When AOL bought Netscape in 1999,
Netscape commanded 90% of the browser market. As of this
week's announcement, Netscape commands less than 1%...and
that estimate may be generous. Microsoft Internet Explorer
commands 83% while Mozilla Firefox commands almost 16%.
Many Mac users such as myself use Safari and small browsers
such as Opera and Camino exist, but are used by niche groups.
For the most part, the problematic and not-so-simplistic
Microsoft Internet Explorer rules the browser world. But
it wasn't always that way. Once Netscape was the giant
browser whale that ruled the proverbial seas. Then it ran
afoul of a one-legged sea captain named AOL. In this story,
the sea captain emerges victorious. R.I.P. Netscape

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