Netscape’s death marks the end of a web era

Let’s have a moment of silence for Netscape Navigator, which has finally shuffled off that mortal coil at the age of fourteen. Netscape was once the dominant web browser, sitting comfortably atop an 80% market share. But its failure to innovate, and Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, ultimately led to its downfall. It’s a huge shame, because IE would go on to cause huge harm to the web owing to its noncompliance to standards. We all would’ve been better off had Netscape remained on top.

Eventually, Mozilla Firefox would come along to challenge IE’s reign of terror, and AOL released re-branded and slightly modified versions of Mozilla Firefox and called them Netscape. They didn’t have much of a connection with the Netscape of yore except for the name, and now even that has come to an end. Netscape has reached end of life. Long live Netscape!

I’ll still crack a smile whenever I run across a long-forgotten web page bearing the now-obsolete recommendation “Best viewed with Netscape”.

4 Responses to “Netscape’s death marks the end of a web era”

  1. Cyde Weys Says:

    The sad part is that most people on the web today don’t even remember a time when the dominant web browser was anything other than IE.

  2. William (green) Says:

    I don’t remember such a time myself. Though I’ll admit that just about everybody I know uses Firefox and hates IE.

  3. Darmok Says:

    I miss Netscape! I remember growing up with Netscape 1.0. For a while, I couldn’t upgrade, and pages with newfangled “background images” wouldn’t display them, so I had to highlight all the text to read it if it had been intended for a dark background. Tables were ignored and all the entries written in a long string. And frames? Forget it!

  4. drinian Says:

    Netscape 2 ran like gangbusters on my old 486 that I used (with Slackware Linux) for my first year of college, in 2003, when both were already completely obsolete. It taught me the importance of minimalist and accessible design.