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What happened to Netscape 5.0?
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What happened to Communicator 5.0?
Netscape 5.0 was based on the 4.x code base that Netscape released in 1998. Netscape also released the beginnings of Netscape Gecko -- a new code base -- at about the same time. Soon the Web was clamoring for Gecko's superior performance and standards support. So, [in 1999], Netscape switched code bases and rewrote the new software based on Gecko, canceling 5.0 (Mozilla classic) in favour of Netscape 6.
Now, Netscape 7 is based on final release of Mozilla.
(Based on Netscape 6 FAQ page, archived by

There is a compiled version of Netscape Communicator 5.0 based on the very early source code released by Netscape. (Note, very buggy, not recommended.)

Other explainations:
Big number = big change and marketing. "If there is a big enough change in the software program, version numbers should increase to reflect that, even jumping a whole number. Netscape 6 shares very little of the code from Netscape 4.xx, changes are drastic and warrant jumping." (from NewsZilla)

For more infromation, please read Netscape 6: New Approach To Browsers (
Mozilla Preview/History (
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