28 Oct

ACO American Communications Online Research (2017) Web Wars

ACO Research for all Club Members of American Communication Online

INTERNET ONLINE WEB Wars HISTORY for our own use and research.

Search results for Web Wars

  • yglass, Inc.

Not to be confused with Spyglass Entertainment.

Spyglass, Inc.

Former type


Traded as





acquired by OpenTV




1990; 27 years ago


NCSA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign




Champaign, USA


Internet browser intellectual property

Spyglass, Inc. (former NASDAQ ticker symbol SPYG), was an Internet software company based in ChampaignIllinois.

The company, founded in 1990, was an offshoot of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and created to commercialize and support technologies from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). For several years, it focused on data visualization tools, such as graphing packages and 3D rendering engines.[1] It became most known for its version of the Mosaic web browser.


In May 1994, Spyglass licensed NCSA’s Mosaic browser for several million dollars, with the intent to develop their own Web browser.[2]However, NCSA’s development effort had resulted in different features, user interfaces, and codebases for each of its major platforms: UNIXMicrosoft Windows, and classic Mac OS. Spyglass therefore created its own Mosaic codebase in which most source code and all features were shared between platforms.[citation needed]

Spyglass offered a 30-day trial version for download, but did not actually sell the product to end-users. Instead, it licensed the code to re-sellers that delivered either an unmodified Spyglass Mosaic (e.g., O’Reilly and Associates) or a browser based on the Spyglass codebase (as did CompuServeIBM and Ipswitch).[3] Among the browsers produced under license using Spyglass Mosaic’s codebase was also Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer.

In addition to the major desktop platforms, Spyglass ported Mosaic to other systems including Nintendo 64 for the SharkWire Onlinesystem.[4]

Browser wars

Main article: Browser wars

Netscape Communications Corporation, co-founded by Marc Andreessen, released its flagship Netscape Navigator browser in October 1994, and the company soon became the web browser industry leader. Microsoft recognized the potential of the web, and wanting to get into the browser game as soon as possible, decided to license an existing browser rather than build one from scratch.[citation needed]

After Microsoft lost out to AOL for BookLink‘s browser in November 1994, their talks with Spyglass progressed.[5] In 1995, Microsoft licensed Mosaic from Spyglass as the basis of Internet Explorer 1.0, which was released as an add-on to Windows 95 in the Microsoft Plus! software package. The deal stipulated that Spyglass would receive a base quarterly fee for the Mosaic license plus a royalty from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer revenue.[6]

Microsoft subsequently bundled Internet Explorer with Windows, and thus (making no direct revenues on IE) paid only the minimum quarterly fee. In 1997, Spyglass threatened Microsoft with a contractual audit, in response to which Microsoft settled for US$8 million.[6][7]

All versions of the Internet Explorer created before Internet Explorer 7 (released October 18, 2006) acknowledged Spyglass as the licensor for the IE browser code. The About window on these versions contained the text “Distributed under a licensing agreement with Spyglass, Inc.”

Web server technology

Spyglass created and marketed a commercially supported web server for Unix and Windows NT, variously called Spyglass Server and Server SDK. The product was announced in March 1995[8] and became available in July 1995.[9] Like the Netscape server that was already on the market, the Spyglass Server included an application programming interface that allowed server-side applications to run in the server’s process. The two server platforms differed in their approach to security, with Spyglass using the Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (SHTTP), while Netscape used its own Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).[8] Spyglass did not offer their server as a retail product, instead licensing it in volume to original equipment manufacturers, as it did with its browser.[8] The largest licensee was Oracle Corporation.[citation needed]

End of Spyglass

On March 26, 2000, OpenTV bought out Spyglass in a stock swap worth $2.5 billion. The acquisition was completed July 24, 2000. In the deal, they received both Device Mosaic, an embedded web browser, and Prism, a content delivery and transformation system.[10]


  1. Jump up^ Sink, Eric (15 April 2003). “Memoirs From the Browser Wars”. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  2. Jump up^ Booker, Ellis (29 Aug 1994). “Spyglass to commercialize future Mosaic versions”Computerworld.
  3. Jump up^ Ayre, Rick; Mace, Thomas (12 March 1996). “Just Browsing”PC Mag. Ziff Davis.
  4. Jump up^ “SharkWire Online(TM) by InterAct Allows Gamers To Get Online, In-Touch and Ahead” (Press release). Hunt Valley, MD: InterAct Accessories, Inc. PR Newswire. May 12, 1999. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Wallace, James (1997), Overdrive, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-18041-6.
  6. Jump up to:a b Elstrom, Peter (22 January 1997). “MICROSOFT’S $8 MILLION GOODBYE TO SPYGLASS”Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  7. Jump up^ Thurrott, Paul (22 January 1997). “Microsoft and Spyglass kiss and make up”. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  8. Jump up to:a b c Booker, Ellis (27 March 1995). “Web servers move in different directions”Computerworld.
  9. Jump up^ “Spyglass, Inc. Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1997”. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  10. Jump up^ Boulton, Clint (27 March 2000). “OpenTV Buys Spyglass”. Retrieved 9 February 2011.

External links

Brief profile of Spyglass from www.omimo.be at the Wayback Machine (archived October 11, 2007)

1st Netscape Communications History




Internet, Software, & Telecommunication


April 4, 1994; 23 years ago
(as Mosaic Communications Corporation)


Mountain ViewCaliforniaU.S. (as an independent company)
DullesVirginia, U.S.
(after becoming a part of AOL)

Key people

Marc AndreessenJim Clarkand William Foss (founders); James Barksdale (CEO)


Internet suite
Web browser
Internet service provider
Web portal

Number of employees

2,500[1] (2002)


AOL (1999–2017)
Oath Inc. (2017–present)



Netscape Communications (formerly known as Netscape Communications Corporation or Netscape) is an American computer services company known for its web browserNetscape Navigator.

When Netscape was an independent company, its headquarters were in Mountain View, California[2]

Netscape’s web browser was once dominant but it has lost most of that glare to its competitors Internet Explorer during the so-called first browser war. The usage share of Netscape had fallen from over ninety percent in the mid-1990s[3] to less than one percent by the end of 2006.[4]

Netscape is credited with creating JavaScript language, the most widely used language for client-side scripting of web pages. The company is also known for developing the SSL which is used for securing online communications that was used before its successor TLS took over. [5]

Netscape stock traded from 1995 until 1999 when it was acquired by AOL in a pooling-of-interests transaction ultimately worth US $10 billion.[6][7] Shortly before its acquisition by AOL, Netscape released the source code for its browser and created the Mozilla Organization to coordinate future development of its product.[8] The Mozilla Organization rewrote the entire browser’s source code based on the Gecko rendering engine;[9] all future Netscape releases were based on this rewritten code. The Gecko engine would later be used to power the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefoxbrowser.

Under AOL, Netscape’s browser development continued until December 2007 when AOL announced that the company would stop supporting the Netscape browser as of early 2008.[10][11] As of 2011, AOL has continued to use the Netscape brand to market a discount Internet service provider.[12][13]


Early years

Netscape Communications wants you to forget all the highway metaphors you’ve ever heard about the Internet. Instead, think about an encyclopedia—one with unlimited, graphically rich pages, connections to E-mail and files, and access to Internet newsgroups and online shopping.

Netscape NavigatorMacworld (May 1995)[14]

Netscape was the first company to attempt to capitalize on the nascent World Wide Web.[15][16] It was founded under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation on April 4, 1994, the brainchild of Jim Clarkwho had recruited Marc Andreessen as co-founder and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as investors. The first meeting between Clark and Andreessen was never truly about a software or service like Netscape, but more about a product that was similar to Nintendo.[17] Clark recruited other early team members from SGI and NCSA MosaicJim Barksdale came on board as CEO in January 1995.[16] Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen originally created a 20-page concept pitch for an online gaming network to Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 console, but a deal was never reached. Marc Andreessen explains, “If they had shipped a year earlier, we probably would have done that instead of Netscape.”[18][18]

The company’s first product was the web browser, called Mosaic Netscape 0.9, released on October 13, 1994. Within four months of its release, it had already taken three-quarters of the browser market.[17] It became the main browser for Internet users in such a short time due to its superiority over other competition, like Mosaic.[17] This browser was subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator, and the company took the ‘Netscape’ name (coined by employee Greg Sands,[16] although it was also a trademark of Cisco Systems[19]) on November 14, 1994[20] to avoid trademark ownership problems with NCSA, where the initial Netscape employees had previously created the NCSA Mosaic web browser. The Mosaic Netscape web browser did not use any NCSA Mosaic code.[21] The internal codename for the company’s browser was Mozilla, which stood for “Mosaic killer”, as the company’s goal was to displace NCSA Mosaic as the world’s number one web browser.[22] A cartoon Godzilla-like lizard mascot was drawn by artist-employee Dave Titus,[23] which went well with the theme of crushing the competition. The Mozilla mascot featured prominently on Netscape’s web site in the company’s early years. However, the need to project a more “professional” image (especially towards corporate clients) led to this being removed.

The original green and purple Mozilla mascot, a Godzilla-like lizard which represented the company’s goal of producing the browser that would be the “Mosaic killer”

On August 9, 1995, Netscape made an extremely successful IPO. The stock was set to be offered at US$14 per share, but a last-minute decision doubled the initial offering to US$28 per share. The stock’s value soared to US$75 during the first day of trading, nearly a record for first-day gain. The stock closed at US$58.25, which gave Netscape a market value of US$2.9 billion. While it was unusual for a company to go public prior to becoming profitable, Netscape’s revenues had, in fact, doubled every quarter in 1995.[24]The success of this IPO subsequently inspired the use of the term “Netscape moment” to describe a high-visibility IPO that signals the dawn of a new industry.[25][26] During this period, Netscape also pursued a publicity strategy (crafted by Rosanne Siino, then head of public relations) packaging Andreessen as the company’s “rock star.”[27] The events of this period ultimately landed Andreessen, barefoot, on the cover of Time magazine.[28]

Netscape advertised that “the web is for everyone” and stated one of its goals was to “level the playing field” among operating systems by providing a consistent web browsing experience across them. The Netscape web browser interface was identical on any computer. Netscape later experimented with prototypes of a web-based system which would enable users to access and edit their files anywhere across a network, no matter what computer or operating system they happened to be using. This did not escape the attention of Microsoft, which viewed the commoditization of operating systems as a direct threat to its bottom line, i.e. a move from Windows to another operating system would yield a similar browsing experience thus reducing barriers to change. It is alleged that several Microsoft executives visited the Netscape campus in June 1995 to propose dividing the market (an allegation denied by Microsoft and, if true, would have breached antitrust laws), which would have allowed Microsoft to produce web browser software for Windows while leaving all other operating systems to Netscape.[29] Netscape refused the proposition.

Microsoft released version 1.0 of Internet Explorer as a part of the Windows 95 Plus Pack add-on. According to former Spyglassdeveloper Eric Sink, Internet Explorer was based not on NCSA Mosaic as commonly believed, but on a version of Mosaic developed at Spyglass[30] (which itself was based upon NCSA Mosaic). Microsoft quickly released several successive versions of Internet Explorer, bundling them with Windows, never charging for them, financing their development and marketing with revenues from other areas of the company. This period of time became known as the browser wars, in which Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer added many new features and went through many version numbers (not always in a logical fashion) in attempts to outdo each other. But Internet Explorer had the upper hand, as the amount of manpower and capital dedicated to it eventually surpassed the resources available in Netscape’s entire business. By version 3.0, IE was roughly a feature-for-feature equivalent of Netscape Communicator, and by version 4.0, it was generally considered to be more stable on Windows than on the Macintosh platform. Microsoft also targeted other Netscape products with free workalikes, such as the Internet Information Server (IIS), a web server which was bundled with Windows NT.

Netscape could not compete with this strategy. In fact, it didn’t attempt to. Netscape Navigator was not free to the general public until January 1998,[31] while Internet Explorer and IIS have always been free or came bundled with an operating system and/or other applications. Meanwhile, Netscape faced increasing criticism for the bugs in its products; critics claimed that the company suffered from ‘featuritis‘ – putting a higher priority on adding new features than on making them work properly. This was particularly true with Netscape Navigator 2, which was only on the market for 5 months in early 1996 before being replaced by Netscape Navigator 3. The tide of public opinion, having once lauded Netscape as the David to Microsoft’s Goliath, steadily turned negative, especially when Netscape experienced its first bad quarter at the end of 1997 and underwent a large round of lay-offs in January 1998. Later, former Netscape executives Mike Homer and Peter Currie described the period as “hectic and crazy” and that the company was undone by factors both internal and external.[32]

Open sourcing

January 1998 was also the month that Netscape started the open source Mozilla project. Netscape publicly released the source code of Netscape Communicator 4.0 in the hopes that it would become a popular open source project. It placed this code under the Netscape Public License, which was similar to the GNU General Public License but allowed Netscape to continue to publish proprietary work containing the publicly released code. However, after having released the Communicator 4.0 code this way, Netscape proceeded to work on Communicator 4.5 which was focused on improving email and enterprise functionality. It eventually became clear that the Communicator 4.0 browser was too difficult to develop, and open source development was halted on this codebase. Instead, the open source development shifted to a next generation browser built from scratch. Using the newly built Gecko layout engine, this browser had a much more modular architecture than Communicator 4.0 and was therefore easier to develop with a large number of programmers. It also included an XML user interface language named XUL that allowed single development of a user interface that ran on Windows, Macintosh, and Unix. The slogan for this open sourcing effort, “Free The Lizard”, carried comedic sexual overtones.

The United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust case against Microsoft in May 1998. Netscape was not a plaintiff in the case, though its executives were subpoenaed and it contributed much material to the case, including the entire contents of the ‘Bad Attitude’ internal discussion forum.[33] In October 1998, Netscape acquired web directory site NewHoo for the sum of US$1 million, renamed it the Open Directory Project, and released its database under an open content license.

Acquisition by America Online

America Online (AOL) on November 24, 1998 announced it would acquire Netscape Communications in a tax-free stock-swap valued at US$4.2 billion at the time of the announcement.[34] During this time, Andreessen’s view of Netscape changed; to him, it was no longer just a browser, intranet, extranet, or a software company, but rather an amalgamation of products and services.[35]By the time the deal closed on March 17, 1999, it was valued at US$10 billion.[6][7] This merger was ridiculed by many who believed that the two corporate cultures could not possibly mesh; one of its most prominent critics was longtime Netscape developer Jamie Zawinski.[36] The acquisition was seen as a way for AOL to gain a bargaining chip against Microsoft, to let it become less dependent on the Internet Explorer web browser. Others believed that AOL was interested in Netcenter, or Netscape’s web properties, which drew some of the highest traffic worldwide. Eventually, Netscape’s server products and its Professional Services group became part of iPlanet, a joint marketing and development alliance between AOL and Sun Microsystems. On November 14, 2000, AOL released Netscape 6, based on the Mozilla 0.6 source code. (Version 5 was skipped.) Unfortunately, Mozilla 0.6 was far from being stable yet, and so the effect of Netscape 6 was to further drive people away from the Netscape brand. It was not until August 2001 that Netscape 6.1 appeared, based on Mozilla 0.9.2 which was significantly more robust. A year later came Netscape 7.0, based on the Mozilla 1.0 core.


During the acquisition of Netscape by AOL, joint development and marketing of Netscape software products would occur through the Sun-Netscape Alliance. The software, in the newly branded iPlanet, included “messaging and calendar, collaboration, web, application, directory, and certificate servers”, as well as “production-ready applications for e-commerce, including commerce exchange, procurement, selling, and billing.”[37] In March 2002, when the alliance was ended, “iPlanet became a division of Sun… Sun retained the intellectual property rights for all products and the engineering”[38]

On July 15, 2003, Time Warner (formerly AOL Time Warner) disbanded Netscape. Most of the programmers were laid-off, and the Netscape logo was removed from the building. However, the Netscape 7.2 web browser (developed in-house rather than with Netscape staff, with some work outsourced to Sun’s Beijing development center[39]) was released by AOL on August 18, 2004.[40]

On October 12, 2004, the popular developer website Netscape DevEdge was shut down by AOL. DevEdge was an important resource for Internet-related technologies, maintaining definitive documentation on the Netscape browser, documentation on associated technologies like HTML and JavaScript, and popular articles written by industry and technology leaders such as Danny Goodman. Some content from DevEdge has been republished at the Mozilla website.

After the Sun acquisition by Oracle in January 2010, Oracle continued to sell iPlanet branded applications, which originated from Netscape.[41] Applications include: Oracle iPlanet Web Server and Oracle iPlanet Web Proxy Server.

Final release of the browser

Netscape logo 2005–2007, still used in some portals

The Netscape brand name continued to be used extensively. The company once again had its own programming staff devoted to the development and support for the series of web browsers.[42]Additionally, Netscape also maintained the Propeller web portal, which was a popular social-news site, similar to Digg, which was given a new look in June 2006. AOL marketed a discount ISP service under the Netscape brand name.

A new version of the Netscape browser, Netscape Navigator 9, based on Firefox 2, was released in October 2007. It featured a green and grey interface. In November 2007, IE had 77.4% of the browser market, Firefox 16.0% and Netscape 0.6%, according to Net Applications, an Internet metrics firm.[43] On December 28, 2007, AOL announced that on February 1, 2008 it would drop support for the Netscape web browser and would no longer develop new releases.[10] The date was later extended to March 1[11] to allow a major security update and to add a tool to assist users in migrating to other browsers. These additional features were included in the final version of Netscape Navigator 9 (version, released on February 20, 2008.

Software[ Main article: Netscape (web browser)

Classic releases

Netscape Navigator (versions 0.9–4.08)[

Main article: Netscape Navigator

Netscape Navigator was Netscape’s web browser from versions 1.0–4.8. The first beta versions were released in 1994 and were called Mosaic and later Mosaic Netscape. Then, a legal challenge from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications(makers of NCSA Mosaic), which many of Netscape’s founders used to develop, led to the name Netscape Navigator. The company’s name also changed from Mosaic Communications Corporation to Netscape Communications Corporation.

The browser was easily the most advanced available[citation needed] and so was an instant success, becoming market leader while still in beta.[citation needed] Netscape’s feature-count and market share continued to grow rapidly after version 1.0 was released. Version 2.0 added a full email reader called Netscape Mail, thus transforming Netscape from a single-purpose web browser to an Internet suite. The main distinguishing feature of the email client was its ability to display HTML email. During this period, the entire suite was called Netscape Navigator.

Version 3.0 of Netscape (the first beta was codenamed “Atlas”) was the first to face any serious competition in the form of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.[44][citation needed] But Netscape easily remained the number one browser for the time being.

Netscape also released a Gold version of Navigator 3.0 that incorporated WYSIWYG editing with drag and drop between web editor and email components.[45]

Netscape Communicator (versions 4.0–4.8)

Netscape Communicator 4.61 for OS/2 Warp

Main article: Netscape Communicator

Netscape 4 addressed the problem of Netscape Navigator being used as both the name of the suite and the browser contained within it by renaming the suite to Netscape Communicator. After five preview releases in 1996–1997, Netscape released the final version of Netscape Communicator in June 1997. This version, more or less based on Netscape Navigator 3 Code, updated and added new features. The new suite was successful, despite increasing competition from Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0 and problems with the outdated browser core. IE was slow and unstable on the Mac platform until version 4.5.[citation needed] Despite this, Apple entered into an agreement with Microsoft to make IE the default browser on new Mac OS installations, a further blow to Netscape’s prestige.[citation needed] The Communicator suite was made up of Netscape Navigator, Netscape Mail & Newsgroups, Netscape Address Book and Netscape Composer (an HTML editor).

In January 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation announced that all future versions of its software would be available free of charge and developed by an open source community, Mozilla. Netscape Communicator 5.0 was announced (codenamed “Gromit”). However, its release was greatly delayed, and meanwhile there were newer versions of Internet Explorer, starting with version 4. These had more features than the old Netscape version, including better support of HTML 4, CSSDOM, and ECMAScript; eventually, the more advanced Internet Explorer 5.0 became the market leader.

In October 1998, Netscape Communicator 4.5 was released. It featured various functionality improvements, especially in the Mail and Newsgroups component, but did not update the browser core, whose functionality was essentially identical to that of version 4.08. One month later, Netscape Communications Corporation was bought by AOL. In November, work on Netscape 5.0 was canceled in favor of developing a completely new program from scratch.

Mozilla-based releases

Netscape 6 (versions 6.0–6.2.3)

Main article: Netscape 6

In 1998, an informal group called the Mozilla Organization was formed and largely funded by Netscape (the vast majority of programmers working on the code were paid by Netscape) to co-ordinate the development of Netscape 5 (codenamed “Gromit”), which would be based on the Communicator source code. However, the aging Communicator code proved difficult to work with and the decision was taken to scrap Netscape 5 and re-write the source code. The re-written source code was in the form of the Mozilla web browser, on which, with a few additions, Netscape 6 was based.

This decision meant that Netscape’s next major version was severely delayed. In the meantime, Netscape was taken over by AOL who, acting under pressure from the Web Standards Project, forced its new division to release Netscape 6.0 in 2000. The suite again consisted of Netscape Navigator and the other Communicator components, with the addition of a built-in AOL Instant Messenger client, Netscape Instant Messenger. However, it was clear that Netscape 6 was not yet ready for release and it flopped badly. It was based on Mozilla 0.6, which was not ready to be used by the general public yet due to many serious bugs that would cause it to crash often or render web pages slowly. Later versions of Netscape 6 were much improved(especially 6.2.x was regarded as a good release)[who?], but the browser still struggled to make an impact on a disappointed community.

Netscape 7 (versions 7.0–7.2)[

Main article: Netscape 7

Netscape 7.0 (based on Mozilla 1.0.1) was released in August 2002 as a direct continuation of Netscape 6 with very similar components. It picked up a few users, but was still very much a minority browser. It did, however, come with the popular Radio@Netscape Internet radio client. AOL had decided to deactivate Mozilla’s popup-blocker functionality in Netscape 7.0, which created an outrage in the community. AOL learned the lesson for Netscape 7.01 and allowed Netscape to reinstate the popup-blocker. Netscape also introduced a new AOL-free-version (without the usual AOL addons) of the browser suite. Netscape 7.1 (codenamed “Buffy” and based on Mozilla 1.4) was released in June 2003.

In 2003, AOL closed down its Netscape division and laid-off or reassigned all of Netscape’s employees. Mozilla.org continued, however, as the independent Mozilla Foundation, taking on many of Netscape’s ex-employees. AOL continued to develop Netscape in-house (with help from Sun’s Beijing development center[39]), but, due to there being no staff committed to it, improvements were minimal. One year later, in August 2004, the last version based on Mozilla was released: Netscape 7.2, based on Mozilla 1.7.2.

After an official poll posted on Netscape’s community support board in late 2006, speculation arose of the Netscape 7 series of suites being fully supported and updated by Netscape’s in-house development team.[46][47][48] This was not to be.

Mozilla Firefox-based releases[Netscape Browser (version 8.0–8.1.3)

Between 2005 and 2007, Netscape’s releases became known as Netscape Browser. AOL chose to base Netscape Browser on the relatively successful Mozilla Firefox, a re-written version of Mozilla produced by the Mozilla Foundation. This release is not a full Internet suite as before, but is solely a web browser. Other controversial decisions include the browser’s being made only for Microsoft Windows and its featuring both the Gecko rendering engine of previous releases and the Trident engine used in Internet Explorer. AOL’s acquisition of Netscape Communications in November 1998[49] made it less of a surprise when the company laid off the Netscape team and outsourced development to Mercurial Communications.[when?] Netscape Browser 8.1.3 was released on April 2, 2007, and included general bug fixes identified in versions 8.0–8.1.2[50][51]

Netscape Navigator (version 9.0)[

Netscape Navigator 9.0

Netscape Navigator 9‘s features were said to include newsfeed support and become more integrated with the Propeller Internet portal,[52] alongside more enhanced methods of discussion, submission and voting on web pages.[53] It also sees the browser return to multi-platform support across WindowsLinux and Mac OS X.[54] Like Netscape version 8.x, the new release was based upon the popular Mozilla Firefox (version 2.0), and supposedly had full support of all Firefox add-ons and plugins, some of which Netscape was already providing.[55] Also for the first time since 2004, the browser was produced in-house with its own programming staff.[56] A beta of the program was first released on June 5, 2007.[57] The final version was released on October 15, 2007.

End of development and support

AOL officially announced[10][11] that support for Netscape Navigator would end on March 1, 2008, and recommended that its users download either the Flock or Firefox browsers, both of which were based on the same technology.[58]

The decision met mixed reactions from communities, with many arguing that the termination of product support is significantly belated. Internet security site Security Watch stated that a trend of infrequent security updates for AOL’s Netscape caused the browser to become a “security liability”, specifically the 2005–2007 versions, Netscape Browser 8.[59] Asa Dotzler, one of Firefox’soriginal bug testers, greeted the news with “good riddance” in his blog post, but praised the various members of the Netscape team over the years for enabling the creation of Mozilla in 1998.[60] Others protested and petitioned AOL to continue providing vital security fixes to unknowing or loyal users of its software, as well as protection of a well-known brand.[61][62][63]

Mozilla Thunderbird-based releases

Netscape Messenger 9

Main article: Netscape Messenger 9

On June 11, 2007, Netscape announced Netscape Mercury, a standalone email and news client that was to accompany Navigator 9. Mercury was based on Mozilla Thunderbird.[64] The product was later renamed Netscape Messenger 9, and an alpha version was released. In December 2007, AOL announced it was canceling Netscape’s development of Messenger 9 as well as Navigator 9.

Product list

Initial product line

Netscape’s initial product line consisted of:

  • Netscape Navigator web browser for WindowsMacintoshOS/2Unix, and Linux
  • Netsite Communications web server, with a web-based configuration interface[65]
  • Netsite Commerce web server, simply the Communications server with SSL (https) added

  • Netscape Proxy Server

Later Netscape products

Netscape’s later products included:

  • Netscape Personal Edition (the browser along with PPP software and an account creation wizard to sign up with an ISP)
  • Netscape Communicator (a suite which included Navigator along with tools for mail, news, calendar, VoIP, and composing web pages, and was bundled with AOL Instant Messenger and RealAudio)
  • Netscape FastTrack and Enterprise web servers
  • Netscape Collabra Server, a NNTP news server acquired in a purchase of Collabra Software, Inc.
  • Netscape Directory Server, an LDAP server
  • Netscape Messaging Server, an IMAP and POP mail server
  • Netscape Certificate Server, for issuing SSL certificates
  • Netscape Calendar Server, for group scheduling

  • Netscape Compass Server, a search engine and spider
  • Netscape Application Server, for designing web applications
  • Netscape Publishing System, for running a commercial site with news articles and charging users per access

  • Netscape Xpert Servers

    • ECxpert – a server for EDI message exchange
    • SellerXpert – B to B Commerce Engine
    • BuyerXpert – eProcurement Engine

    • BillerXpert – Online Bill Paying Engine

    • TradingXpert – HTML EDI transaction frontend

    • CommerceXpert – Online Retail Store engine

  • Radio@Netscape and Radio@Netscape Plus


Main article: Propeller.com

Between June 2006 and September 2007, AOL operated Netscape’s website as social news website similar to Digg. The format did not do well as traffic dropped 55.1 percent between November 2006 and August 2007.[66] In September 2007, AOL reverted Netscape’s website to a traditional news portal, and rebranded the social news portal as “Propeller”, moving the site to the domain “propeller.com.” AOL shut down the Propeller website on October 1, 2010.[66]

Netscape Search Netscape operated a search engine, Netscape Search, which now redirects to AOL Search (which itself now merely serves Googlesearch results)[]. Another version of Netscape Search was incorporated into Propeller.

Other sites

Netscape also operates a number of country-specific Netscape portals, including Netscape Canada among others. The portal of Netscape Germany was shut down in June 2008.

The Netscape Blog was written by Netscape employees discussing the latest on Netscape products and services. Netscape NewsQuake (formally Netscape Reports) is Netscape’s news and opinion blog, including video clips and discussions. As of January 2012, no new posts have been made on either of these blogs since August 2008.

Netscape technologies

Netscape created the JavaScript web page scripting language. It also pioneered the development of push technology, which effectively allowed web sites to send regular updates of information (weather, stock updates, package tracking, etc.) directly to a user’s desktop (aka “webtop”); Netscape’s implementation of this was named Netcaster.[67] Unfortunately, businesses quickly recognized the use of push technology to deliver ads to users that annoyed them, so Netcaster was short-lived.

Netscape was notable for its cross-platform efforts. Its client software continued to be made available for Windows (3.19598NT), Macintosh, Linux, OS/2BeOS, and many versions of Unix including DECSun SolarisBSDIIRIXIBM AIX, and HP-UX. Its server software generally was only available for Unix and Windows NT, though some of its servers were made available on Linux, and a version of Netscape FastTrack Server was made available for Windows 95/98. Today, most of Netscape’s server offerings live on as the Sun Java System, formerly under the Sun ONE branding. Although Netscape Browser 8 was Windows only, multi-platform support exists in the Netscape Navigator 9 series of browsers.[33]

Current services

Netscape Internet Service[ Netscape ISP is a 56 kbit/s dial-up service offered at US$9.95 per month[68] (US$6.95 with 12-month commitment). The company serves webpages in a compressed format to increase effective speeds up to 1300 kbit/s (average 500 kbit/s). The Internet service provider is run by AOL under the Netscape brand. The low-cost ISP was officially launched on January 8, 2004.[69] Its main competitor is NetZero. Netscape ISP’s advertising is generally aimed at a younger demographic, e.g., college students, and people just out of school, as an affordable way to gain access to the Internet.


Netscape always drove lots of traffic from various links included in the browser menus to its web properties. Some say it was very late to leverage this traffic[70] for what would become the start of the major online portal wars.[71] When it did, Netcenter, the new name for its site entered the race with Yahoo!, Infoseek, and MSN, which Google would only join years later.

The original Netscape.com was discontinued in June 2006, replaced by the site that would eventually become Propeller.com. Two continuations of the original Netscape.com portal are available; Compuserve.com, the Web site of Compuserve, and ISP.Netscape.com, the web site for Netscape’s dial-up discount ISP service, continue to use the Netscape.com layout as it was before June 2006. Of the two, only the latter explicitly uses the Netscape branding.

Netscape.com is currently an AOL Netscape-branded mirror duplicate of the AOL.com portal with the URL, replacing the former social news website in September 2007. The social news site moved to the Propeller.com domain, where it stayed until ending operations in October 2010. It features facilities such as news, sports, horoscopes, dating, movies, music and more. The change has come to much criticism amongst many site users, because the site has effectively become an AOL clone, and simply re-directs to regional AOL portals in some areas across the globe. Netscape’s exclusive features, such as the Netscape Blog, Netscape NewsQuake, Netscape Navigator, My Netscape and Netscape Community pages, are less accessible from the AOL Netscape designed portal and in some countries not accessible at all without providing a full URL or completing an Internet search.[72] The new AOL Netscape site was originally previewed in August 2007 before moving the existing site in September 2007.[73]

Netscape.co.uk now redirects to AOL Search, with no Netscape branding at all.[74]


Main article: DMOZ

DMOZ (from directory.mozilla.org, its original domain name, also known as the Open Directory Project or ODP), was a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned[citation needed] by Netscape that was constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

Netscape Forum Center

Netscape also has a wide variety of community-based forums within Netscape Forum Center, including its browser‘s community support board. To post on the forums, users must possess an AOL Screenname account in which to sign in, referred to within the site as the Netscape Network. The same service is also available through Compuserve Forum Center.

See also


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  14. Jump up^ Hawn, Mathew (May 1995). (subscription required)%5b%5bCategory:Pages containing links to subscription-only content%5d%5d “Netscape Navigator. (Netscape Communications World Wide Web browser) (Software Review)(Evaluation)” Check |url= value (help)Macworld. Retrieved May 17, 2011. Netscape Communications wants you to forget all the highway metaphors you’ve ever heard about the Internet. Instead, think about an encyclopedia—one with unlimited, graphically rich pages, connections to E-mail and files, and access to Internet newsgroups and online shopping.
  15. Jump up^ “AOL will pull the plug on Netscape’s tech support”. Los Angeles Times. December 29, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  16. Jump up to:a b c Adam Lashinsky (July 25, 2005). “Remembering Netscape: The Birth Of The Web”. Fortune Magazine. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  17. Jump up to:a b c Zook, Matthew A. (2005). The Geography of the Internet Industry: Venture Capital, Dot-Coms, and Local Knowledge. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 0-631-23331-8.
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  21. Jump up^ Clark, Jim; Owen Edwards (1999). Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took on Microsoft. St. Martin’s Press. pp. 160–170 [167]. ISBN 978-0312199340.
  22. Jump up^ Marc Andreessen Revealed (Bloomberg Game Changers)
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  31. Jump up^ Alex Lash. “Netscape cuts prices on retail products”. C-Net. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  32. Jump up^ Alan T. Saracevic (October 23, 2005). “Silicon Valley: It’s where brains meet bucks”San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
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  43. Jump up^ Gonsalves, Antone (December 28, 2007). “AOL Kills Netscape’s Future, Leaves Firefox to Battle IE”Informationweek.com. CMP Media LLC. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  44. Jump up^ “Whatever happened to Netscape?”Engadget. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  45. Jump up^ “Netscape Navigator Gold 3.0 Now Available, Adding Momentum to Netscape Client Software”.
  46. Jump up^ Netscape Community Announcement – Netscape 7.2Retrieved on February 8, 2007
  47. Jump up^ Netscape Community poll – Should Netscape continue to update 7.2? Retrieved on February 8, 2007
  48. Jump up^ Mozillazine – Netscape 9 announced Retrieved on February 8, 2007
  49. Jump up^ PC World Article Nov 24, 1998 12am
  50. Jump up^ Netscape Community – Netscape 8.1.3 Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on February 8, 2007
  51. Jump up^ Netscape Community – Netscape 8.1.3 releasedArchived January 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on April 2, 2007
  52. Jump up^ Netscape 9.0 confirmed on Netscape’s community support board Archived March 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on January 24, 2007
  53. Jump up^ Netscape 9 – February 20 Announcement ArchivedJanuary 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on February 20, 2007
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  57. Jump up^ Netscape 9.0b1 released Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on June 5, 2007
  58. Jump up^ “AOL to End Support for Netscape Browser”Washington Post. PC World. December 28, 2007. Retrieved September 29,2015.
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  74. Jump up^ “Netscape.co.uk”.

Further reading

  • Jim ClarkNetscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took On Microsoft, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  • Michael E. Cusumano and David B. Yoffie, Competing On Internet Time: Lessons From Netscape And Its Battle With Microsoft, The Free Press, 1998, 2000.

  • Fortune Magazine, “Remembering Netscape: The Birth Of The Web”, July 25, 2005.

External links

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