AOL announced last week that it will no longer continue support and development of the world’s first web browser, Netscape Navigator, as of 1st February 2008. Netscape’s director Tom Drapeau explained that because Netscape couldn’t capture Microsoft’s Internet Explorer market share, AOL won’t put any further resources into Netscape, and will instead focus on developing its web business.
AOL has encouraged Netscape users to take on Mozilla’s Firefox instead:
“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.”
The popular browser of the 90′s, once commanded 90% of the market and has been running for 13 years, but has since fallen behind. It was purchased by AOL back in 1999 and was quickly updated to Netscape 6 which was the first Netscape-branded Mozilla based browser.
Since then AOL has had a string of bad luck with Netscape and although it’s reported that they have “invested a great deal of time and energy” they have just not been able to compete with Internet Explorer.
Let us know what you think on the rise and fall of Netscape by leaving a comment below.