Kiss Netscape goodbye; next release of Netscape could be the last

“‘Net pioneer Netscape Communications may be headed for life support, or so says If this is the case, it would be a very sad ending to the tortured history of the first browser to gain mass acceptance during the dawn of the Internet. According to MozillaNews, the next release of Netscape has a good chance of being the last for a while, if not forever. AOL has shown little interest in continued development of the browser, axing headcount of the Netscape division with vigor last December. AOL instead wishes to focus on Gecko, the current HTML engine of the Compuserve 7 browser, which is used in Mac OS X,” reports J. Eric Smith over on Full story here.

MacDailyNews take: Thank Steve that we have Safari, so the potential of Netscape’s demise is now virtually meaningless, excpet to those prone to sentimentality – or who are still stuck on OS 9.


  1. “AOL instead wishes to focus on Gecko, the current HTML engine of the Compuserve 7 browser, which is used in Mac OS X,”

    Safari uses KHTML, not Gecko — unless J Eric Smith meant that the OS X version of Compuserve 7 uses Gecko, not Safari.

  2. The real loss is that Microsoft won. They are the company that beat Netscape with what was initially a weaker product. Using their monopolistic ways, they forced Netscape to the background.

    Remember that Marc Andressen, one of the founders of Netscape, was one of the originators of the first visual browser, Mosaic. Without him, lord knows where our browsers would be today. I can say with certainty, however, that Microslop would not have one had they not had someone to copy.

  3. Does this mean the end of Mozilla as well? While Mozilla and Netscape both have a few bugs that are very annoying and *never* fixed by them, despite numerous bug reports, they are still very useful because of the built-in e-mail client.

  4. For along time we have been using the browser that sucks less, not choosing the one we like best. I wonder how long it would have taken one of the browser makers to make a good one? If it wasn’t for Safari we would never get a good browser.

  5. Mozilla is an open source product. It will still be around and be valuable. Also, KHTML-Safari is a good competitor to IE as well. On the OSX side, they run circles around IE. Microsoft doesnt bother to update the browser on the Macintosh.
    Netscape’s interface is wayy too fricking slow, ditto to mozilla’s. Chimera or whatever it will be called is nice, but will need to be faster. I hope that It is continued and takes some interface cues from safari.

    The KTHML engine isnt perfect, but it’s fast. The interface innovations in Safari are great.

    This is a browser war! Open source competition on merit and not just on showing up on every stinking computer.

    Microsoft has every computer using IE now and is just sitting on its ass not developing the thing.

  6. I was using Netscape 7 as my browser until Safari was released. IE was never an option for me. Now that Safari is THE OS X browser, the loss of Netscape will barely register on most user’s radar.

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