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{{short description|American computer services company}}{{about|the company|the web browser|Netscape (web browser)}}

Verizon Communications {{small>(2015–present)}}}}}}}}Netscape is a brand name associated with the development of the Netscape web browser. It is now owned by Verizon Media, a subsidiary of Verizon. The brand belonged to the Netscape Communications Corporation (formerly Mosaic Communications Corporation), an independent American computer services company, whose headquarters were in Mountain View, California, and later Dulles, Virginia.Swartz, Jon. "Company takes browser war to Netscape's lawn." San Francisco Chronicle. Thursday October 2, 1997. Retrieved on December 29, 2009. The browser was once dominant but lost to Internet Explorer and other competitors after the so-called first browser war, its market share falling from more than 90 percent in the mid-1990sBOOK, Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness, Lawler, III, Edward E., Worely, Christopher G., 2011, John Wiley & Sons, 9781118008447, Identity as a Guidepost to Strategy, to less than 1 percent in 2006.WEB,weblink Firefox Usage Passes 15 Percent in US, Mook, Nate, July 10, 2006, BetaNews, September 29, 2015, Netscape is credited with creating the JavaScript programming language, the most widely used language for client-side scripting of web pages. The company is also known for developing SSL which was used for securing online communications before its successor TLS took over.WEB,weblink History of SSL at,, 2012-10-29, Netscape stock traded from 1995 until 1999 when the company was acquired by AOL in a pooling-of-interests transaction ultimately worth US $10 billion."America Online Inc. Completes Acquisition of Netscape Communications Corp.". Business Wire. March 17, 1999. Retrieved July 1, 2012."What's $10 Billion to AOL?" {{Webarchive|url= |date=November 7, 2017 }}. Morningstar. April 5, 1999. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 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.WEB,weblink Mozilla Stomps Ahead Under AOL,, 2012-10-29, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 3, 2014,
The Mozilla Organization rewrote the entire browser's source code based on the Gecko rendering engine;WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2001-12-13, Netscape Launches Groundbreaking Netscape 6 Browser,, 2001-12-13, 2012-10-29, yes, all future Netscape releases were based on this rewritten code. The Gecko engine would later be used to power the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browser.
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.WEB,weblink End of Support for Netscape web browsers, Netscape Blog, Tom Drapeau, December 28, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink January 3, 2008, September 13, 2014, WEB,weblink Netscape Browser Support extended to March 1st, Netscape Blog, Tom Drapeau, January 28, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink February 7, 2008, September 13, 2014, As of 2011, AOL has continued to use the Netscape brand to market a discount Internet service provider.WEB,weblink FORM 10-K,, 2012-10-29, weblink" title="">Netscape ISP home page of 2014 with link to weblink" title="">Netscape ISP Terms of Service update of 15 September 2014. AOL renamed the Netscape Communications Corporation to New Aurora Corporation,WEB,weblink Amended Statement by Foreign Corporation, March 16, 2012, September 9, 2018, and transferred the Netscape brand to themselves. AOL sold the former Netscape company, now known as New Aurora Corporation, to Microsoft, who in turn sold them again to Facebook. The former Netscape company is currently a non-operating subsidiary of Facebook, still known as New Aurora Corporation. The Netscape brand remained with AOL.Netscape Communications is now part of America Online (AOL). AOL initially envisioned the Netscape Web site as a Web portal, providing a source of revenue through advertising and e-commerce. After the antitrust ruling found that Microsoft had held and abused monopolistic power, Microsoft settled with AOL for $750 million. As part of the settlement, AOL gained the rights to use and distribute Internet Explorer.Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis leveraged the Netscape brand to create Propeller, a social bookmarking and news site from 2006-2010.{{cn|date=December 2018}}{{Relevance inline|date=June 2019|reason=If Propeller isn't relevant enough for Calacanis' page, I doubt it's relevant here- let alone in the intro}}

History of the Netscape Communications Corporation

Early years{|class"toccolours" style"float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 2em; font-size: 85%; background:#c6dbf7; color:black; width:25em; max-width: 100%;" cellspacing"5"

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 Navigator, Macworld (May 1995)HAWN>FIRST=MATHEWTITLE=NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR. (NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS WORLD WIDE WEB BROWSER) (SOFTWARE REVIEW)(EVALUATION) ACCESSDATE=MAY 17, 2011URL=HTTP://LOOKUPS.COM.AU/WIKI/1G1-16739494.PHP, subscription, Netscape was the first company to attempt to capitalize on the nascent World Wide Web.NEWS,weblink AOL will pull the plug on Netscape's tech support, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2014, December 29, 2007, It was founded under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation on April 4, 1994, the brainchild of Jim Clark who 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.BOOK, The Geography of the Internet Industry: Venture Capital, Dot-Coms, and Local Knowledge, Zook, Matthew A., Blackwell Publishing, 2005, 978-0-631-23331-2, Oxford, 104, Clark recruited other early team members from SGI and NCSA Mosaic. Jim Barksdale came on board as CEO in January 1995.MAGAZINE,weblink Remembering Netscape: The Birth Of The Web, Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine, July 25, 2005, September 13, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2006, 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.""OPSWARE INC. / On the record: Marc Andreessen". SFGate. December 7, 2003. Retrieved July 24, 2012.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. It became the main browser for Internet users in such a short time due to its superiority over other competition, like Mosaic. This browser was subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator, and the company took the "Netscape" name (coined by employee Greg Sands, although it was also a trademark of Cisco Systems"Cisco tablet not an iPad knock-off: Chambers" {{webarchive|url= |date=March 28, 2014 }}. Network World. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2012.) on November 14, 1994,NEWS, B3, Mosaic's Name Change, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 15, 1994, 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.BOOK, Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took on Microsoft, Clark, Jim, James H. Clark, Owen Edwards, 1999, St. Martin's Press, 978-0312199340, 160–170 [167], 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.WEB,weblink Marc Andreessen Revealed (Bloomberg Game Changers),, 2019-06-13, A cartoon Godzilla-like lizard mascot was drawn by artist-employee Dave Titus,WEB,weblink Portfolio of freelance illustrator and animator, Dave W. Titus, Dave Titus Illustrations. Mascots, characters, children's product illustration, packaging and game illustration, and creator of Mozilla,, 2010-07-22, 2019-06-13, which went well with the theme of crushing the competition. The Mozilla mascot featured prominently on Netscape's website in the company's early years. However, the need to project a more "professional" image (especially towards corporate clients) led to this being removed.File:Mozilla boxing.jpg|right|thumb|175px|The original green and purple Mozilla mascot, a GodzillaGodzillaOn 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 somewhat unusual for a company to go public prior to becoming profitable, Netscape's revenues had, in fact, doubled every quarter in 1995.NEWS,weblink Going Public as Netscape Did, before making a dime in profits, Lycos, Wired 8.08, David Sheff, July 14, 2006, 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.NEWS,weblink Electric cars: A Netscape Moment?,, May 18, 2014, February 4, 2010, NEWS,weblink Is commercial spaceflight's "Netscape moment" near?, The Space Review, May 18, 2014, July 30, 2012, 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."NEWS,weblink Programmer's Bookshelf, Dr. Dobb's Journal, May 18, 2014, December 1, 1999, The events of this period ultimately landed Andreessen, barefoot, on the cover of Time magazine.NEWS,weblink Netscape's Marc Andreessen, February 3, 2007, February 19, 1996dot-com bubble.LETZING URL=HTTPS://WWW.MARKETWATCH.COM/STORY/LYCOS-A-WEB-BUBBLE-STAR-IS-SOLD-TO-INDIAN-FIRM-2010-08-17 PUBLISHER=MARKETWATCH ACCESSDATE=2019-06-13, 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.WEB,weblink Government alleges illegal campaign by Microsoft, July 14, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink July 8, 2006, 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 Spyglass developer Eric Sink, Internet Explorer was based not on NCSA Mosaic as commonly believed, but on a version of Mosaic developed at SpyglassWEB,weblink Memoirs from the Browser Wars, July 14, 2006, yes,weblink" title="">weblink May 17, 2008, mdy-all, (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,WEB,weblink Netscape cuts prices on retail products, C-Net, Alex Lash, February 23, 2008, 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 five 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 layoffs 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.NEWS
, Alan T. Saracevic
, Silicon Valley: It's where brains meet bucks
, San Francisco Chronicle
, October 23, 2005
, May 18, 2014

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 5.0 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 5.0 code this way, Netscape proceeded to work on Communicator 5.0 which was focused on improving email and enterprise functionality. It eventually became clear that the Communicator 5.0 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 5.0 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.NEWS,weblink Microsoft Subpoenas Bad Attitude, July 14, 2006, Wired, September 1, 1998, 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

{{Refimprove section|date=October 2008}}On November 24, 1998, America Online (AOL) announced it would acquire Netscape Communications in a tax-free stock-swap valued at US$4.2 billion.WEB,weblink AOL buys Netscape for $4.2 billion, 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.JOURNAL, Building a Company on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape, Yoffie, David B., April 1999, California Management Review, By the time the deal closed on March 17, 1999, it was valued at US$10 billion. 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.WEB,weblink netscape and aol, 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."WEB,weblink Sun-Netscape Alliance Announces New iPlanet(TM) Brand and Marketing Campaign, July 7, 2012, 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"WEB,weblink PCMag, November 14, 2015, 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"Sun Micro To Double Beijing Software Center" {{webarchive|url= |date=November 16, 2004 }}. HPCwire. August 8, 2003. Retrieved July 1, 2012.) was released by AOL on August 18, 2004.WEB,weblink Netscape Internet Software Updated, July 14, 2006,weblink" title="">weblink June 23, 2006, 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.Oracle Web Tier". Oracle. Retrieved July 7, 2012 Applications include Oracle iPlanet Web Server and Oracle iPlanet Web Proxy Server.

Final release of the browser

missing image!
- Netscape-logo.png -
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.UFAQ. org – "Announcing Netscape 9" by Jay Garcia {{Webarchive|url= |date=September 28, 2007 }} Retrieved on February 5, 2007 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.WEB,weblink AOL Kills Netscape's Future, Leaves Firefox to Battle IE, December 29, 2007, Gonsalves, Antone, December 28, 2007,, CMP Media LLC, 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. The date was later extended to March 1 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.


Classic releases

Netscape Navigator (versions 0.9–4.08)

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|date=June 2013}} and so was an instant success, becoming a market leader while still in beta. 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.WEB,weblink Whatever happened to Netscape?, Engadget, 2017-03-22, {{Citation needed|date=June 2013}} But Netscape remained the most popular browser at that time.Netscape also released a Gold version of Navigator 3.0 that incorporated WYSIWYG editing with drag and drop between web editor and email components.WEB,weblink Netscape Navigator Gold 3.0 Now Available, Adding Momentum to Netscape Client Software, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 20, 2012, mdy-all,

Netscape Communicator (versions 4.0–4.8)

missing image!
- OS2 Netscape Communicator 4.61.png -
Netscape Communicator 4.61 for OS/2 Warp
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|date=June 2013}} 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|date=June 2013}} 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, CSS, DOM, 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)

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 coordinate 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 {{Citation needed|date=June 2013}} (especially 6.2.x was regarded as a good release){{who|date=June 2013}}, but the browser still struggled to make an impact on a disappointed community.{{Citation needed|date=June 2013}}

Netscape 7 (versions 7.0–7.2)

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 reversed the decision and allowed Netscape to reinstate the popup-blocker for Netscape 7.01. Netscape also introduced a new AOL-free-version (without the usual AOL add-ons) 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. 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), 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.Netscape Community Announcement – Netscape 7.2 {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 9, 2009 }} Retrieved on February 8, 2007Netscape Community poll – Should Netscape continue to update 7.2? {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 9, 2009 }} Retrieved on February 8, 2007Mozillazine – Netscape 9 announced Retrieved on February 8, 2007 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 1998PC World Article Nov 24, 1998 12am {{webarchive|url= |date=June 29, 2012 }} made it less of a surprise when the company laid off the Netscape team and outsourced development to Mercurial Communications.{{When|date=August 2010}} Netscape Browser 8.1.3 was released on April 2, 2007, and included general bug fixes identified in versions 8.0–8.1.2Netscape Community – Netscape 8.1.3 {{webarchive|url= |date=May 28, 2008 }} Retrieved on February 8, 2007Netscape Community – Netscape 8.1.3 released {{webarchive|url= |date=January 10, 2009 }} Retrieved on April 2, 2007

Netscape Navigator (version 9.0)

missing image!
- Netscape9.png -
Netscape Navigator 9.0
Netscape Navigator 9's features were said to include newsfeed support and become more integrated with the Propeller Internet portal,Netscape 9.0 confirmed on Netscape's community support board {{webarchive|url= |date=March 27, 2008 }} Retrieved on January 24, 2007 alongside more enhanced methods of discussion, submission and voting on web pages.Netscape 9 – February 20 Announcement {{webarchive|url= |date=January 9, 2009 }} Retrieved on February 20, 2007 It also sees the browser return to multi-platform support across Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.Netscape 9.0 30- January 7 announcement {{webarchive|url= |date=May 28, 2008 }} Retrieved on January 30, 2007 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.Netscape 9 – February 6, 2007 announcement {{webarchive|url= |date=October 15, 2007 }} Retrieved on February 6, 2007 Also for the first time since 2004, the browser was produced in-house with its own programming staff.Netscape announces cross-platform Netscape 9 to be developed in-house – Mozillazine Retrieved on February 5, 2007 A beta of the program was first released on June 5, 2007.Netscape 9.0b1 released {{webarchive|url= |date=January 9, 2009 }} Retrieved on June 5, 2007 The final version was released on October 15, 2007.

End of development and support

AOL officially announced 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.WEB,weblink AOL to End Support for Netscape Browser, December 28, 2007, Washington Post, PC World, September 29, 2015, 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.WEB,weblink Netscape Death is long overdue, Good for Security, January 2, 2008, Asa Dotzler, one of Firefox's original 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.WEB,weblink it's about time. r.i.p. netscape browser, January 2, 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 1, 2008, mdy-all, 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.WEB,weblink Save Netscape Petition, January 2, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2009, yes, mdy-all, WEB,weblink Netscape Community – Online Petition for the Support of NN, January 2, 2008, {{dead link|date=February 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}WEB,weblink Save Netscape!, January 2, 2008,

Mozilla Thunderbird-based releases

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.Netscape Mercury in progress {{webarchive|url= |date=October 15, 2007 }} Retrieved on June 11, 2007 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 Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, Unix, and Linux
  • Netsite Communications web server, with a web-based configuration interfaceWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2008-04-06, Internet Archive Wayback Machine,, 2008-04-06, 2012-10-29,
  • 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


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.WEB,weblink Spinning to a Stop - Search Engine Watch (#SEW), Search Engine Watch, 2012-10-29, 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 "" AOL shut down the Propeller website on October 1, 2010.

Netscape Search

Netscape operated a search engine, Netscape Search, which now redirects to AOL Search (which itself now merely serves Bing (formerly Google) search results).NEWS,weblink AOL Takes Over Majority of Microsoft’s Ad Business, Swaps Google Search For Bing, 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 weblink" title="">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 (formerly 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 websites 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.{{cn|date=November 2018}} However, 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 (3.1, 95, 98, NT), Macintosh, Linux, OS/2, BeOS, and many versions of Unix including DEC, Sun Solaris, BSDI, IRIX, IBM 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.

Current services

{{Update|inaccurate=yes|date=October 2009}}

Netscape Internet Service

Netscape ISP is a 56 kbit/s dial-up service offered at US$9.95 per monthWEB,weblink GetNetscape Home Page, March 20, 2008, (US$6.95 with 12-month commitment). The company serves web pages 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.WEB,weblink Netscape Launches Low-Cost Internet Access Service, 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 trafficNetscape late to leverage traffic - CNET News. Retrieved on 2013-09-08. for what would become the start of the major online portal wars.WEB, Smith, Tony,weblink,, 1998-12-17, 2019-06-13, 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 was discontinued in June 2006, replaced by the site that would eventually become Two continuations of the original portal are available;, the Web site of Compuserve, and, the website for Netscape's dial-up discount ISP service, continue to use the layout as it was before June 2006. Of the two, only the latter explicitly uses the Netscape is currently an AOL Netscape-branded mirror duplicate of the portal with the URL, replacing the former social news website in September 2007. The social news site moved to the 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.Netscape Community responses {{Webarchive|url= |date=October 15, 2007 }}. Retrieved on September 20, 2007 The new AOL Netscape site was originally previewed in August 2007 before moving the existing site in September 2007.New Netscape Portal – Netscape Community {{Webarchive|url= |date=October 15, 2007 }} Retrieved on August 14, now redirects to AOL Search, with no Netscape branding at all.WEB,weblink,


DMOZ (from, 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|date = June 2015}} 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




Further reading

  • Jim Clark, Netscape 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, weblink" title="">"Remembering Netscape: The Birth Of The Web", July 25, 2005.

External links

{{AOL Inc.}}{{Netscape}}{{Early web browsers}}{{Use mdy dates|date=July 2011}}

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