R.I.P. Netscape Navigator

AOL, which in 1999 acquired Netscape Communications Corporation, has pulled the plug on Netscape Navigator. AOL will stop supporting Netscape Navigator (all versions) on February 1st, 2008.

A moment of silence, please.

“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,” Tom Drapeau, director of AOL’s Netscape Brand, writes on The Netscape Blog.

“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,” Drapeau writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our first real browser, Netscape Navigator, is a fond memory. Netscape got a really raw deal as Microsoft abused their monopoly position to kill them off by bundling the shiteous Internet Explorer into Windows. But, what’s done is done and, really, Navigator’s been unofficially dead for years. We moved to Safari nearly four years ago (with occasional ongoing Firefox use and some dabbling with Camino, Shiira, Opera, and others for testing and to keep up-to-date).


  1. No big deal. Anyone who likes the “all-in-one internet application suite” instead of separate apps can download SeaMonkey from Mozilla.org. It’s the same thing, without the Netscape branding. I don’t think you even need to move your profile folder or do any conversion. And it’s still being worked on and updated.

  2. In fairness, Netscape Navigator was just as bad as IE at the time. Both tried to control the web by creating their own HTML tags that the other was not compatible with. IE simply did it more effectivly.

    No loss. It was important to have the competition but I would have not wanted them to win as they were.

  3. R.I.P. Netscape Navigator. Long live Microsoft Internet Explorer! Thank you, Redmond for opening up the internet with marvelous innovation and rock solid security. And kudos for freeing us from the tyranny of browsers which don’t support ActiveX. Less Netscape Navigator means more Internet Explorer—and it only runs on Windows. Take that, MAC sheep.

    This is precisely why I’m so glad I use a PC with Windows. As you can clearly see, this is yet another developer abandoning toy MACs. What are you MAC lemmings gonna do now? Dorks.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  4. R.I.P. Indeed.

    First time I’ve ever been online was back in 1996 going for 97 when I was about 9y/o at my elementary school. We were using those Macintosh Performa LC550. & guess what, it was on Netscape Navigator. I thought it was so awesome. Though it was so slow, it took over 2 minutes to go into Titanic.com which was the first website we were taught to visit.

    Of course we did have apple II’s from 92 that lasted until 98 which were great. I had so much fun playing Oregon Trial, using those 5.25 floppy disks. This was in Southern FLA. There were no PC’s, everything was MAC.


  5. What’s wrong with you kids? Am I that old?

    Haven’t you heard of Mosaic for Mac?
    NetHopper for Newton? (It’s not a mesh toilet!).

    By the time Netscape came out, the Internet was a series of tubes.

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