Today I got wind of some bad news coming down the slopes of geekness. AOL the current owners of the Netscape Browser have decided to discontinue the software package. After 3/1/08 there will be no more security updates to the package l, Thus creating another lonely fizzle in the Pre/Post Dot COM bubble. I saw this come across the wire and I closed my eyes and could hear TAPs slightly playing in the back ground for all to hear.
Looking back Netscape at one time was the most popular software on the planet, and I had a piece of it. I remember going to the computer store and buying the Netscape Navigator 2.0 software which came on 3.5 Floppy Disk. I may actually still have those disk floating around my house although in all the moves over the years I may have trashed them.
Netscape was the best browser back in the mid 90’s the company was started by by Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark, who both grew the company into a force to be reckoned with, but like all good things it had to come to and end. Microsoft first tried to compete with Netscape by creating a browser but was far more inferior then Netscape and fail miserably. So the powers that be at Microsoft decided to give the software away for free, and also to bundle it with the manufactures of PC’s. Not only did this give Microsoft a great second wind in the fight, they tied the browser so much into the Operating Systems that they were sued by Netscape and the Department of Justice for those practices.
Netscape didn’t know what hit them they tried to compete but with Microsoft throwing money at the Internet Explorer division like President Bush throws money at the IRAQ war they had no chance. I guess knowing they had no fair chance for survival in 98 they open sourced the software which crated other browsers such as FireFox, Opera, and others that worked wonders.
The possible threat to Microsoft was fully squashed with never being able to pick up again. Some of us Geeks have been around these parts (the internet) for a long time while others are just getting here. We always look for who will be the one to dethrone Microsoft and I gotta tell ya, there are some companies that are giving it a good go right now. The only problem is when you competitor can give you COLD hard Cash up to 50 BILLION Dollars to buy you out right, CASH! The competition is only gonna last so long. Companies like Microsoft will get there way some how we just know it.
The Black Tech Report…