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AOL pulls the plug on Netscape Navigator

Today AOL announced plans to discontinue development on the beloved Netscape browser. As you may know, Netscape was the first mass market Internet browser, originally released in October 1994. AOL will stop developing the browser on February 1, 2008 according to the Netscape blog.

This blog's parent company, AOL gained control of Netscape when they acquired it in November 1998 for the whopping price of $4.2 billion. The software, which is currently on version 9, was dominant in the 1990's until Microsoft unleashed Internet Explorer. Recent figures show that Netscape has less than 1 percent market share after having more than 90 during the browser wars of the 1990's.

The Netscape browser code has not been maintained to the community's expectations. AOL has also done a pretty good job of obscuring the Netscape name. was briefly a Digg-style social news site, and now the web site is basically a landing page for In order to even find the latest version of the Netscape web browser, you have to go to

What was once a great Internet Suite gave birth to the Mozilla foundation when Netscape code was released to the Open Source community. Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird are the upshot of the once-great Netscape Internet Browser.

Netscape will always have a dear place in our hearts. For many of us it was our first window in to the World Wide Web. Rest in Peace, Netscape Navigator.

Tags: firefox, Internet explorer, InternetExplorer, netscape