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Bye to an Old Friend, Netscape. February 29, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Essays, News.
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Farewell Netscape, thanks for the surfing memories. You started it all for me in the early days of the Web. Though your graphical user interface is a relic in my memory, you were the Web for me back in 1994.

In a few hours time, the icon that gave people their first experience of the Web will no longer be around. Owner AOL will no longer support Netscape Navigator from 1 March 2008 and recommends users to upgrade to Firefox or Flock which are based on the Navigator technology.

Created by Marc Andreessen, Netscape helped make the Internet a mass market phenomenon when it was launched in the mid 1990s. But it could not compete. Its hey days were numbered when its user base and market share were eroded by Microsoft, which bundles Internet Explorer with its Windows operating systems.

Recent surveys suggest that Netscape currently has only 0.6% market share among browsers, compared to IE’s 77.35% and Firefox’s 16.01%. This same underdog once claimed more than 90 percent of the market, sparking the browser wars of the 1990s and the subsequent Microsoft antitrust trial.

Users can visit the UFAQ and the Netscape Community Forum for support. AOL is also setting up a Netscape Archive where users will be able to download old versions of Netscape, without any support.

Netscape Navigator introduced me to the World Wide Web by enabling me to access information online. Those were the good old times, but I won’t miss Netscape. I write this on the Safari browser which I have come to love. No doubt an underdog touches a soft spot, but Netscape had its day. Rest in peace Navigator. The Web and I will cherish your legacy.

Related reads:
Official Netscape Blog: End of Support for Netscape web browsers

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