AOL to discontinue Netscape web browser

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Postby Fulvio » Sun 30 Dec, 2007 9:26 pm

For more on Thunderbird, check this page of Mitchell Baker's blog
There are some interesting comments.
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Fighting For Netscape

Postby meoknet » Wed 02 Jan, 2008 4:22 pm

Some of us don't intend to let Netscape go without a fight. It represents too much.

By signing the petition at www.savenetscape.com you would

* Be asking AOL to reconsider
* Asking them to consider selling it to anyone who may later show interest
* Asking them to consider giving the brand over to Mozilla completely
* Show possible investors that the browser may be worth taking off of AOL's hands.

Even if we lose, at least we fought.
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Postby James » Wed 02 Jan, 2008 7:41 pm

This is absolutely ridiculous. Asa was right: good riddance. It's time to move FORWARD, not backwards. It's over and done with. I wouldn't waste my time on any petition, particularly for something that has now died twice.
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Re: Fighting For Netscape

Postby Edward » Wed 02 Jan, 2008 9:48 pm

meoknet wrote:* Show possible investors that the browser may be worth taking off of AOL's hands.


AOL paid $4.2 billion in stock for Netscape. What did they get?

A web site.
A browser.
Other software, which eventually became part of the Sun|Netscape Alliance, with a brand name of iPlanet.

What is the browser and web site worth today?
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Postby samike » Thu 03 Jan, 2008 8:33 am

Don't ever try to figure out why AOL does things. Paying that much money and then virtually doing nothing until Netscape 8, 9 and then the email client, then canceling the projects shortly thereafter is incomprehensible.

AOL has never been known for having 'the sharpest knives in the drawer' making critical decisions. As sad as I am to see Netscape go by the wayside, it's time to let it die with what dignity it has left.

We should remember the impact it made, not the sorry death at the hands of AOL. Lastly, thanks to all the hard working people who tried to keep Netscape a relevant product.
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Postby Fulvio » Thu 03 Jan, 2008 2:33 pm

I was looking for some info on what had been going on, and I turned up this article tells the story pretty clearly. I had forgotten that AOL had released a Gecko for Macs.
If anyone thinks that AOL could have done differently, he/she are not aware of what has been going on with AOL. In my opinion AOL made a mistake in purchasing Netscape, for such a high price, but their administration felt that there was some hope.
If AOL had succeeded in their fight against Microsoft, it would have been highly regarded by some, at least. Now, everyone, especially people who never subscribed to AOL, think of AOL as the scum of the earth.
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Postby karl » Sat 05 Jan, 2008 1:06 am

The name Netscape will always be a part of internet history.

Luckily for those that are nostalgic there is a nice Netscape Navigator 9 theme for Firefox. Personally I like the 4x theme / icons despite never actually using the 4x browser.
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Postby JayGarcia » Sun 06 Jan, 2008 12:40 pm

A bit more to clarify ..

1. Asa Dotzler was a beneficiary of the first AOL cut of Netscape employees so yes, he has an axe to grind. Not a valid source to be considered when evaluating the future or demise of Netscape. Asa and I are really good friends and will remain as such, he has a right to his opinion as does everyone else.

2. Again, AOL didn't yank Netscape, we did ...the paid staff that is. We felt it best to end the production without the brand or the end-user being ignored.

3. AOL paid a total of 9.8 Billion, not 4.2.

4. HP was actually in contract negotiations to pre-load NS 8 on every one of their computers-in-a-box when Mercurial Communications halted development and subsequently went bankrupt. Seems to me this represents Corporate interest. I can't say any more on this as we have received a lot of "we're interested" emails. It ain't over 'till it's over and it ain't over yet, IMHO of course.

5. While a petition may not interest AOL (probably not), it may serve the purpose of demonstrating user interest to someone else who does have the necessary resources and interest.

Thanks, carry on.
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Postby James » Sun 06 Jan, 2008 2:43 pm

Jay... be serious. Netscape is dead. Period. It's yesterday's news. There is no way that it will ever be what it once was. Firefox is far and away, the browser of choice of most who eschew Internet Explorer. After Firefox, Opera is probably a best bet. If one cannot let go of Netscape, then by all means... go with SeaMonkey (although I HATE that name). At least it has a history of updating its product in a timely fashion and not dying every few years.

So AOL did not pull the plug; you and the development team did. And now you're saying it's not over till it's over??? Additionally you're suggesting that a petition would (or might) be of some use... not to AOL mind you, but perhaps to SOMEBODY out there with deep pockets? Yeah... I've heard that pipe-dream before too. Was it Sun? IBM? Someone with deep pockets will come along and bail us out and the sun will shine once more in Netscape land. Jay, that's just wishful thinking (to put it mildly). It's not in the cards. You told us just a few months ago that there were so many wonderful things about to happen ... all we had to do was be patient. Then wham! Bam! We're pulling the plug, Ma'am. You have the appearance of one speaking out of both sides of your mouth when you do this, Jay. I'm not saying you DO speak out of both sides of your mouth... BUT you have that appearance. And your credibility suffers as a result.

Asa was right: good riddance. Let's move forward NOT backward. And forward means Firefox/Thunderbird.
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Postby Edward » Sun 06 Jan, 2008 4:08 pm

JayGarcia wrote:3. AOL paid a total of 9.8 Billion, not 4.2.


From TimeWarner itself:

http://money.cnn.com/1998/11/24/technology/aol/ (AOL acquires Netscape in $4.2B deal)

http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom ... 26,00.html (America Online, Inc. to Acquire Netscape Communications Corporation in Stock Transaction Valued at $4.2 Billion)
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Postby JayGarcia » Mon 07 Jan, 2008 5:35 pm

Edward wrote:
JayGarcia wrote:3. AOL paid a total of 9.8 Billion, not 4.2.


From TimeWarner itself:

http://money.cnn.com/1998/11/24/technology/aol/ (AOL acquires Netscape in $4.2B deal)

http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom ... 26,00.html (America Online, Inc. to Acquire Netscape Communications Corporation in Stock Transaction Valued at $4.2 Billion)


Sorry Ed, I forgot to be a bit more specific.

AOL purchased Netscape for 4.2 Billion in "Stock", the rest was cash, assets, holdings, etc. for a grand total "value" of 9.8 Billion.
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A Solid Netscape user since "when"

Postby OLE GAR » Tue 08 Jan, 2008 1:48 pm

I am certainly no expert on the "many" browsers available for use today but for sure each and every one has benefited from the "engineering" by the people at Netscape. I am not a "gamer", a web designer and never have had to "nit pick" the differences of ten or more browsers but have used Netscape since I got hooked up to the web in 1991. The mail server was Pegasus and worked fitfully on our old dial-up at the blazing speed of 1200bps! Along came Netscape3.1 with Messenger for e-mail and we were in "tall" cotton!

My fwiw: Netscape has served me well through every upgrade till N8. The attempt to join some features to make it more like the "Hated" IE (all versions - even those that swiped some real good ideas from Netscape) just seemed to vanish. I had to go back to N7.2 if I wanted things to work the way they were meant to work. In mho IE, Outlook Express and most other MS products dismally failed to do a decent job for the ordinary guy, and most of the other browsers were for the upper (read expert computer whizzes) level of users. N9, my most recent download, is a pleasure to use and still carries some of the N7.2 features and other good stuff.

Netscape - -dead ? maybe but I will continue to pinch my nose and use the dead product till it no longer works. What then . . maybe some of the experts, posting many pages of opinions, will have figured out how to fix Vista to work on "your" favorite browser [:>
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Postby Fulvio » Tue 08 Jan, 2008 2:30 pm

Gary,
you make many valid points. I would be, pretty sure, that would it not be for the Netscape developers, there would have been no Mozilla, and anything associated with it.
But, this was some ten years ago! Things changed since then. And, no matter who started what, the NS6 and 7.x were based on a Mozilla build. This happened after AOL had purchased Netscape. Indeed, I do have Navigator9.0.0.5, and, I will hang on, but not because it has some kind of Netscape label. The same goes for the excellent Messenger9.0, which never moved out of the early alpha stage.
I did not get my own computer, and, thus got to the Internet from home, till about ten or eleven years ago. At that time, my ISP, Cox, could set up a new user with either Netscape or IE. I chose Netscape. And, I had also been subscribing to AOL. When AOL decides, for good business reasons to rely on IE, I was done with AOL. And, Netscape never had any reason to be my primary browser, nor a mail client.
The only reason why the many vulnerabilities of Netscape, probably, hurt no one, is because the "nasties" would find little satisfaction in attacking Netscape. But, the fact remains that, especially, from NS7.2, and on, the programs were based on a Mozilla product, except for NS8.x.
Why a NS8 with a dual engine? Because Microsoft has been reigning supreme, and many website writer had no clue, or care little for anything but the dominant Microsoft programs.
Such web pages could be rendered properly, only, in IE. Thus, the need for a dual engine.
Many writers of webpages have done a good job making them compatible with the rapidly rising Firefox (upon which Navigator 9 was written). But there may be a need for some way to get to these pages, even now. So, there is the IE Tab add-on, which I use to download Windows Updates from Firefox (without it access would be denied).
And, the Mozilla suite has been carried on with the Seamonkey project. So, one has the option to get the NS7.2-like Seamonkey, which four years more up to date, or the standalones: Firefox, as browser, and Thunderbird for mail. Navigator, always, updated after Firefox did, and Messenger, based on Thunderbird, went nowhere.
Do I see any need for Netscape? No! After so many years I don't see any good reason.
But, a name is very important to some. To me, the performance and security, matter more.
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Postby JayGarcia » Tue 08 Jan, 2008 9:22 pm

> have used Netscape since I got hooked up to the web in 1991.

The first release of Netscape was in late 1994 - Netscape 0.9
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Postby James » Tue 08 Jan, 2008 10:44 pm

Firefox is updated continually. There is no need to pine over Navigator. In addition, you can skin it to look like NN so what is the biggie? These folks who whine about how much they hate FF are clueless.

Those who simply must have their Netscape suite, have SeaMonkey. It's updated. It does the same thing. No biggie.

FF has been downloaded by hundreds of millions. It's not going away anytime soon nor is it going to leave its users high and dry. Navigator will not be updated from February 1st and on. Will it make you more vulnerable? Of course it will. How vulnerable? That's your call. Jay apparently doesn't sweat it. I do. I want the browser to be as secure as it can possibly be for a variety of reasons. That means, I want a browser that is continually updated. If updates and patches were as inconsequential as some are making them out to be, we would not be trumpeting the fact that FF always updates more quickly than IE. It seems to me that at times we are guilty of speaking out of both sides of our mouths when it suits our personal agendas.
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