“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,” the director of Netscape, Tom Drapeau, wrote in a blog entry on Friday.
Full details are in this blog entry.
It is clear that whenever the history of the transformation from the industrial age is written, there will be always a place for Netscape and specifically Navigator--which is more than a tool to access web pages on WWW.
One: it ushered in the network-era with so many different modes to connect to the network from all over the world.
Two: It challenged us to think about different pricing models for the network-era. (Free is OK as long as we know where revenue and margins come from!).
Three: Netscape helped create Mozilla and the Firefox browser. AOL nurtured support but now has not the resources to divert away from its core business mission of focusing on ad-supported business models.
Four: While Navigator may be fading out, Firefox is very much alive and thriving.
In my view Netscape (and Navigator) unleashed something that we may not fully comprehend for a while. Just as we did not fully understand the power and impact of steam engines till much much later. Or for that matter telephone or telegraph.