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R.I.P. Netscape

July 15, 2003

It’s official: Netscape is dead, and AOL has cut funding for Mozilla.

In future news: November, 2009 — Microsoft issues a press release, raising Internet Explorer licensing fees to “eleventy billion dollars”. AOL executives surprised to discover ‘foresight’ carelessly crossed out of their dictionaries.

Reader Comments

MikeyC says:
July 15, 03h

Your description sounds like it was ripped right out of the headlines of The Onion. Unfortunately I can’t laugh. This sounds very bad.

Plus the new design makes my Zen Garden theme obsolete!

Keith says:
July 15, 04h

O.M.G. - I shouldn’t be laughing, but unlike MikeyC, in spite of what I feel like is pretty bad news (if not unexpected) I’m dyin’ right now.

Alex says:
July 15, 06h

IE is dead… Netscape is dead… Mozilla is dead…

Where does that leave us??

July 15, 06h


Steve-O says:
July 15, 08h

Haha Brownstone… But seriously, where?

I’m not a designer or anything related, but even I can see this is really really bad. I was hoping AOL would do an ultra-cool “take that” and refuse to use IE, opting for a mozilla-baby to run AOL (just take the money and run baby!)… Nice to know hope exists in this world, but only in Happymeals…

Asa Dotzler says:
July 15, 10h

Mozilla is not dead. As a matter of fact, we’ll be releasing Mozilla 1.5 alpha shortly. Keep your eyes on (same as


Alex says:
July 15, 10h

Apparently, I was misinformed.

Mozilla lives!… on life support (from AOL, IBM, Sun, RedHat…)

1.5 alpha? Oh, goody! ;-)

Andy says:
July 16, 02h

I guess that is what usually happens with non-profit applications. Its difficult to carry on long term if there isnt any finance, especially if there should be contant updates.
There are countless non-profit projects going on throughtout the internet but updates are usually slow, and somtimes the whole project abandoned because of the loss of interest.

I am wondering where we are heading with browsers. It seems like we are coming to another turn in the browser world.

James P says:
July 16, 07h

As I’ve said elsewhere, Mozilla is not going to really “take off” until it starts finding itself as the default browser on people’s desktops. A quick call to Mr. Dell or Mr. HP, or possibly even Mr. Wal Mart PC Section Manager, and all new PCs come equipped by default with Mozilla.

Nice story, but until the Mozilla installation and upgrade procedure becomes easy as pie, it’s not going to happen. For most ‘net users, Internet == IE, aka The Big Blue “e” on the desktop. Great marketing and generally raising the public awareness might change that, but the flocks will only start coming home when getting the Latest Version Big Lizard Icon on the desktop is an absolute no-brainer.

Oh yes, and making things like Middle-click on a hyperlink to open a tab in a new window, and other power features the default, wouldn’t harm anyone. Most users wouldn’t touch the Preferences screens with a barge-pole, so why not give them the features we all turn on straight away by default?

– James

Seamus says:
July 16, 09h

I think it is time for a new about:mozilla.

Gosselin says:
July 16, 10h

Kinda makes one wonder if Steve Jobs smelled something brewing back when he released Safari for the Mac OS.

EP says:
July 16, 11h

No wants wants to be in the browser business. The market value kind of went away went MS gave IE away. A shame. Browsers have been key to all things net.

Now everyone wants to be in the web services business.

Shame. Other than web services tools, marketing web services will be really hard:
“Our web services rock, will do great things!”
“Great, can I see it?”
“No, of course not. It’s all invisible - magic!”
“Oh. I got to go change the bottle at the watercooler. Cya.”

Browsers brought humans to the net. Now they’re left behind to mold.


July 17, 02h

[INT. (Mr. Netscape struggling for dear life under the weight of Agent Gates)]

Agent Gates: Do you hear that Longhorn coming Mr. Netscape? That is the sound of inevitability.

[INT. (Change view, we see a Longhorn charging at full ramming speed, with a throbbing big blue “e” embedded deep in its heart)]

Mr. Netscape: Go reboot yourself, Gates. My name is MOZILLA!

[INT. (Mr. Netscape -now MOZILLA- fends off Agent Gates and jups clear of hte ramming Longhorn, who unable to stop due to enormous momentum gained, rams Agent Gates; destroying him in the process)]

Mozilla: Ouch… thatīs gotta *hurt*.

[EXT. (We see Mozilla as he emerges from the deeps and puts on his sunglasses. Mozilla looks around and walks off to continue his ongoing mission to free our minds and eradicate the dreadful BSOD from the world; teamed up with his and powerful ally PiNG)]

[FADE-IN, END CREDITS] Netscape is dead; Long live Mozilla… The battle continues 2005.

Excerpt: The Browser, Reloaded. (Not coming to a theater near you anytime soon)

Kevin says:
July 21, 11h

Netscape is dead. Long live Mozilla.

I’m a big proponent of standards-compliance, and I’m thrilled to see what you’ve done with your site and with zen-garden. Keep up the amazing work. Web standards won’t die as long as there are people like all of us here that really care.

Mark McNally says:
July 23, 06h

dunno why I’m really dismayed at this I guess, I’ve only really used IE since netscape version 4 became so unstable that I couldn’t use it consistently, it’s just since netscape 7 it seemed to me that they might be making a comeback, but alas no and now the next versions of IE won’t be available to all (just users of their new OS from what I’ve read, thats one way to drive sales of their next OS I guess), MSN for Macs will be subscription based ? ?

We all know where this is going, IE will eventually become subscription, just like microsoft want to do the same with msn. Even fears of microsoft trying to charge royalties on their IE only code have been voiced, again !

But then thinking about it one off payment browsers may become more popular, standards compliance will then become more prevalent and maybe the web will work as it is intended… at last … DEATH OF THE FREE BROWSERS ? ? ? oh c@#p that can wait until I’m back in work