David Madore's WebLog: but Netscape is dead

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but Netscape is dead

Today, one of the great pioneers of the World Wide Web has died: AOL Time Warner has put an end to (the thoroughly unprofitable) Netscape—which had been bought by AOL in november of '98. Netscape employees have been laid off or will be employed in another branch of AOL Time Warner. Although this had been expected for some time now (especially with AOL's recent agreement with Microsoft), the suddenness of the decision came as a surprise to many.

Not all may have liked Netscape or what they did, but certainly 2003-07-15 is a day that will be remembered when someone writes the history of the World Wide Web. I would like to write a little obituary but I'm afraid I don't know enough of the history of Netscape for that. Certainly there must be a little celebration party currently going on down Redmond: after all, they just won the war (the one that started seven or eight years ago).

Concerns are being raised as to whether Mozilla can survive. The Mozilla Foundation has been created to continue the Lizard's development, and it has received from AOL the various logos and trademarks associated with Mozilla, and will also receive USD2000000 (two million dollars—sounds like a pretty negligible amount of money to me, barely enough to pay for this summer's development or so, but anyway…) plus other donations in computer time, bandwidth and whatnots; other industry leaders such as Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and perhaps IBM have also pledged various donations to the Mozilla Foundation. But I remain skeptical. Time will tell, I guess.

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