Netscape

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See also: Netscape Navigator

Home Page: Netscape

A company, Netscape Communications, Inc., that created the revolutionary Netscape Navigator Web browser. Netscape.com is now an Internet hub for the AOL/Time Warner online presence and will shortly be the name of a low-cost version of AOL.

History

Netscape was the second major Web browser to appear on the Internet after Mosaic. Many of the design tools such as tables and formatting implimented by Netscape exist to this day.

Netscape was one of the original dot-com explosions. Its company size increased from a handful to hundreds in a very short time, had a unique work philosophy with pool tables, beer, and flexible hours, and was truly a cutting-edge operation. Netscape gave its browser away to educational institutions and individuals for free but charged commercial entities, profiting from server products as well. For a few years, Netscape was the dominant browser until Internet Explorer 4 began to take away their market share by giving away the browser for free and bundling it with the Windows operating system. Netscape 4 also got modest reviews with Web developers for its poor standards-compliance, no longer a problem with Netscape 6+.

As it began to lose its marketshare, Netscape was purchased by AOL shortly after open-sourcing its Web browser and creating the Mozilla project, full rewrite of the web browser's source code. While it took four long years, the Mozilla project is becoming one of the most successful open-source projects among Linux, OpenOffice, and others. Mozilla is a feature rich, highly standards-compliant browser and available for many operating systems in a variety of languages.

Netscape continues to contribute to the Mozilla browser as well as other projects. All its browser developers were laid off and they began to fund the Mozilla organization directly but Netscape continues (infrequently) to repackages the Mozilla browser similar to Linux Distributions. This is useful as some organizations require a brand name when using software.