Netscape (web browser)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Netscape is the general name for a series of web browsers originally produced by Netscape Communications Corporation, now a subsidiary of AOL. The original browser was once the dominant browser in terms of usage share, but as a result of the first browser war it lost virtually all of its share to Internet Explorer.

AOL announced that it discontinued Netscape and would cease support on February 1, 2008, however this was pushed back to March 1, 2008. So on March 1, 2008 AOL ended all support for all Netscape browsers and client products.

Netscape Navigator (versions 1.0–4.08)

Netscape Navigator was the name of Netscape's web browser from versions 1.0 through 4.8. The first beta release versions of the browser were released in 1994 and known as Mosaic and then Mosaic Netscape until a legal challenge from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (makers of NCSA Mosaic), which many of Netscape's founders used to develop, led to the name change to Netscape Navigator. The company's name also changed from Mosaic Communications Corporation to Netscape Communications Corporation.

The browser was easily the most advanced available and was therefore an instant success, becoming market leader while still in beta. Netscape's feature-count and market share continued to grow rapidly after version 1.0 was released. Version 2.0 added a full mail reader called Netscape Mail, thus transforming Netscape from a mere web browser to an Internet suite. During this period, both the browser and the suite were known as Netscape Navigator. Around the same time, AOL started bundling their software with Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Version 3.0 of Netscape (the first beta was codenamed "Atlas") was the first to face any serious competition in the form of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Netscape, however, easily held off Microsoft's challenge and remained the number one browser for the time being. Version 3.0 was also available in a "Gold" version which featured a WYSIWYG HTML editor (later added to Netscape Communicator as a standard feature). Netscape 3.0 introduced many new features such as new plug-ins, background colors for tables, the archive attribute and the applet element. Netscape Navigator 3 was a huge success and the undisputed Web Browser giant in its time. The latest version is 3.04.

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Netscape Internet Browser
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