What Ever Happened to Netscape Navigator?

Irata

Posts: 2,108   +3,636
Nice article, thanks.

I guess it shows that it‘s hard to compete with a behemoth company that gives away the product you depend on for your income for free.

It took very long until I forgave MS what they did to Netscape.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,521   +2,767
Golden times where anything seemed possible with the power of the internet. It felt like a new frontier, truly.

You had the airplane invented at the start of the 20th century and then the internet at the end, two landmarks that have shaped the world beyond compare.

This century has been disappointing so far. Half a page of a 22nd century history text book, at best. A paragraph about the Kardashians, not much besides. Must do better. :yum
 

Irata

Posts: 2,108   +3,636
If you want to re-live the experience -
The SeaMonkey Project - https://www.seamonkey-project.org/

It's the "classic" Netscape with Firefox rendering engine.
Not the 8 / 9 Netscape re-branding style as highlighted in the article.
Have been using Seamonkey forever, but usually when I get a new PC I install Firefox and Outlook instead.

If you need a browser and email client it‘s imho pretty nice though.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 518   +298
I subscribed my first internet service provider contract back in 1994, and Netscape was the way to browse the web...
Exciting times...
 

Raytrace3D

Posts: 338   +414
Ah good old Nutscrape... brings back memories... Not the fond kind. As an early web developer, it was a hoot to have to support both IE and Netscape at the same time. Both browsers had their user base too so it wasn't as easy as ignoring one of them. Oof... These browsers were so leading edge to a certain degree that no one liked to follow any kind of standards they had their own ideas of how to do things (some great, some horrible). This wasn't bad in the way of developing new technologies, but was a challenge to keep up with and make work across the two.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,147   +2,587
TechSpot Elite
Golden times where anything seemed possible with the power of the internet. It felt like a new frontier, truly.

You had the airplane invented at the start of the 20th century and then the internet at the end, two landmarks that have shaped the world beyond compare.

This century has been disappointing so far. Half a page of a 22nd century history text book, at best. A paragraph about the Kardashians, not much besides. Must do better. :yum

We got always-connected computers in our pocket in the first decade and actually powerful ones in the second. So there's something.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,037   +771
One of the things M/S got right .
Probably lot's of hidden stories.
They backed hotmail 500 million I think ( probably wasn't that profitable - but it tied more folks in - so win-win)
Minecraft 3 Billion I think - I had me doubts - but think it has been a win for them.

They stuffed up on the phone front - should of gone all Epic - 2 free apps a week - I think they will be back - as their new phones are a trojan horse - to a dual boot system in a few years .
Didn't buy up facebook or all the ones facebook brought ( probably couldn't lever them like facebook )

They should of owned more of Apple - silly boys- maybe they weren't allow to
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,187   +1,110
I came late to the party. I was still in college when Windows 95 was out and I didn't have a machine that was able to go online. All I had was my 286 machine before making the big jump to a Pentium 133 sometime later.

I was already having Internet Explorer with the "new" machine. Along with my later-bought USRobotics Sportster 33.6kbps "FAX/Voice/Modem"

But..

I don't remember how or what version I got my hands on of the Netscape browser, but it became my favourite instantly. And never looked back.

In fact, I never liked any IE after that until today.

Stayed with Firefox.



 

treetops

Posts: 3,064   +784
There was also a netscape internet service I would sometimes get cd's in the mail for it
NetZero? When I was maybe 13 I signed up for internet, never paid, they called my house, I answered my landline. I told them I am 13 and I never signed anything. They hung up. What a little shat I was.
 

D3z4R1

Posts: 53   +12
Ah good old Nutscrape... brings back memories... Not the fond kind. As an early web developer, it was a hoot to have to support both IE and Netscape at the same time. Both browsers had their user base too so it wasn't as easy as ignoring one of them. Oof... These browsers were so leading edge to a certain degree that no one liked to follow any kind of standards they had their own ideas of how to do things (some great, some horrible). This wasn't bad in the way of developing new technologies, but was a challenge to keep up with and make work across the two.
3

Oh the memories of writing HTML for both browsers and redirecting users based on <UserAgent> tags. Granted it was my initial foray at attempting to write HTML, much less JS & CSS. It's not like using a WYSWYG tool was any helpful at the time.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,352   +2,869
TechSpot Elite
Now EVERYTHING is Google. Even Microsoft uses Chrome.
Not true at all. I used Netscape as a kid for the stupidest of reasons (I liked the stoplight better than IE's "X" and I liked the "N" in the teal-blue meteor shower). I had no idea that it came from the first browser, Mosaic and I had no idea that Firefox came from Netscape. I've used Firefox for close to twenty years now and it's still by far my favourite, so much more innovative than Internet Exploder ever was. AND IT HAS F-A TO DO WITH GOOGLE OR CHROMIUM!
 

Fox God Records

Posts: 99   +90
I remember writing code for Navigator and Communicator and IE back in the day. Microsoft were always implementing their own brand of HTML... Claiming that they were only including it because it had been submitted for w3c approval and they assumed it would be incorporated into the next HTML spec. Those bastards! So I wrote to the STRICT standard. It made it easier, but then you'd have some editor or publisher walk in and say, "I saw this feature on this page, and I want to do THAT!" I hated those.

I used to write my pages on notepad, baby. I still do with a lot of the static pages or with specific css. Only these days it's notepad++. Not like today, man, when any script kiddie can be a web designer. Drag 'n drop is the way of the world. Tell the machine what you want to do and it will write the code for you.

<!-- Remember passing comments to a co-designer in the middle of the code so they wouldn't screw it up? I do. -->

Good times. Good times.
 

D3z4R1

Posts: 53   +12
I remember writing code for Navigator and Communicator and IE back in the day. Microsoft were always implementing their own brand of HTML... Claiming that they were only including it because it had been submitted for w3c approval and they assumed it would be incorporated into the next HTML spec. Those bastards! So I wrote to the STRICT standard. It made it easier, but then you'd have some editor or publisher walk in and say, "I saw this feature on this page, and I want to do THAT!" I hated those.

I used to write my pages on notepad, baby. I still do with a lot of the static pages or with specific css. Only these days it's notepad++. Not like today, man, when any script kiddie can be a web designer. Drag 'n drop is the way of the world. Tell the machine what you want to do and it will write the code for you.

<!-- Remember passing comments to a co-designer in the middle of the code so they wouldn't screw it up? I do. -->

Good times. Good times.
Comments! Comments! Comments!

I remember those were lacking when collaborating with a fellow student. It always my pet peeve when they wouldn't do it often enough; or not at all!
 

hk2000

Posts: 176   +101
It's called survival of the fittest. I know it's almost universally accepted to hate Microsoft but, thank god for MS, without whom browsers wouldn't have been free or progressively and exponentially improving the way they are today. (This was written in a Firefox browser).
 

Mugsy

Posts: 758   +186
I COMPLETELY DISAGREE that Microsoft ever surpassed Navigator. In reality, it was Explorer that was always playing catch up.

Navigator introduced the concept of "tabs" so you can have multiple pages open at once and switch between them (something we now take for granted), and while JavaScript is STILL in use today, Microsoft's dedicated equivalent, "VB-Script" was the Betamax... or perhaps "PS/2"... of it's day (arguably better, but no one else was willing to pay the license to include it in their own products.) - Trivia: Today, for most people, "PS/2" refers to the small round keyboard/mouse jacks... the only part of IBM's sealed "PS/2" computers to survive after Compaq figured out how to reverse-engineer the IBM/PC BIOS, making "PC clones" a reality.

MS had the money to sink billions into a "free" product in a deliberate attempt to force Netscape out of the Browser business. Netscape simply could not afford to spend that kind of money developing a free product (Navigator was the basis of the Firefox browser.)

THAT is what killed off Navigator. NOT because Microsoft developed a superior product.
 

richcz3

Posts: 54   +47
By 2000 Netscape still in use and every Web designer of the time had to keep at least two versions of Netscape installed. All in effort to keep their designs compatibility across multiple browsers. I remember seeing broken elements in Netscape that required scaling back certain features to maximize compatibility.
 

pmshah

Posts: 179   +43
Andreessen was a fool. Browser was not a part of Windows OS yet. The internet was practically all dialup only. When Microsoft was giving it away on each and FREE cd included with every PC magazine Netscape expected each and every user to download and install it. So if I had 50 machines I had to download it 50 times. On the other hand I did not even need an internet connection to install Internet Explorer from the CD. People simply gave up on even trying to download over unreliable dialup and frequent breaks in connection which required one to start from scratch. Netscape just died.

Without a doubt MS knew its business to make installation of its OS as well and applications absolutely trouble free. OS/2 Warp was excellent and far better than Windows in every aspect only if you managed to install it in the first place. That is where IBM fell on its face & failed to cash in.