AOL Pulls the Plug on Netscape Browser

December 29, 2007

Netscape NavigatorNetscape Navigator, long on life support at Time Warner’s AOL, has had the plug pulled. It will officially cease to exist on 1 February after a 13-year run. In its glory days, Netscape’s Navigator helped spawn Internet growth with its browser, which was the first to be commercially available to the public. Navigator succumbed to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and the open-source Firefox browser. The struggling AOL, which bought Netscape for $10 billion in 1999, will now try to reinvent itself as an advertising business.

According to CTV, Netscape Director Tom Drapeau, blogging on Friday about Netscape’s demise, wrote: “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.” While Navigator will still be available for download, security updates and other upgrades will not be available after 1 February, with Drapeau recommending that users switch to Firefox. Ironically, Netscape spawned Mozilla, which developed the directly competing and much more successful Firefox browser.

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