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R.I.P. Netscape Browser: 1994 – 2008

March 01, 2008 @ 10:41 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General, Seen on the 'net

R.I.P Netscape: 1994 - 2008Like many early Internet users, I started using Netscape in the very early-1990s after it split off from NSCA Mosaic.  I have some fond memories of those early days when graphics were the exception rather than the norm, and banner ads and spam were unheard of.  So, it was with a certain element of sadness that I read about the demise of the Netscape browsers.

Effective March 1st, 2008, AOL has discontinued support for the Netscape browser.  One of the earliest graphical web browsers, Netscape appeared on the scene in 1994, evolving from NCSA Mosaic, which is the browser many consider to have led to the Internet boom of the 1990s.

Version 0.9, released in October 1994 supported all the basic HTML 2 elements and also supported some HTML 3.  Version 1.1 was released in April 1995 and added support for <table> tags along with some new Netscape-specific HTML tags.  By the summer of 1995, something like 80% of Internet users were using Netscape to surf the ‘net.

Netscape (the company) was acquired by America Online (AOL) in November 1998 and finally declared dead on July 15th, 2003 after massive layoffs at Netscape.  In the mean time, the browser spawned Mozilla in 1998 (named after the internal codename for the Netscape browser), which is known today as Firefox.

It morphed into an Internet Service provider in January 2004, though new releases of the Netscape browser continue to appear on the scene, culminating in the release of Netscape 9 in October 2007.

On December 28, 2007, AOL announced that development of the browser would cease on February 1, 2008.

All that’s left today is an Internet portal bearing the name of one of the earliest graphical web browsers in the history of the Internet.

You can find a very detailed history of the Netscape browser at http://www.holgermetzger.de/Netscape_History.html and also on SillyDog701’s website.

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