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Netscape The Internet

Netscape Backs Away From Browsers 228

Posted by timothy
from the is-mozilla-a-media-hub-access-tool? dept.
gutier writes: "It seems that Netscape has recognized that it has lost the browser battle, and has decided to restructure itself into an "Internet Media Hub". Information here." The article does not say that Netscape will stop making browsers in favor of various media-integration tools and business offerings, but it does hint that strongly. I don't think this is the first time that an analyst has said "It's not going to be Netscape, but rather Netscape.com," either.
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Netscape Backs Away From Browsers

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The premise of this posting is wrong. AOL cannot get mega-traffic without browser integration. How else do you think MSN gets so much traffic? It sure isn't the killer search engine. hotmail gets them loads of traffic, but hotmail has much of the "market" for free email. netscape can survive and people wont just pick up their email addys and go the ns
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And what exactly does .NET compliant browser mean? That is. other than vague hypewords that can be used to FUD competition.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    > With dot NET around the corner, there is no need nor room for a Netscape or any other non-.NET compliant browser anyway.

    (maybe it was supposed to be funny, in which case I missed the joke)

    Uh ? This is marketing bullshit.

    I saw too much "products around the corner" that were supposed to render everything else pointless to buy to such an argument.

    Analyst used to tell people *not* to upgrade to MS-DOS 3.3 because 4.0 was supposed to be multitask.

    .net will render nothing irrelevant, like NT did not preclude win98 and ME. Or 1995 version of MSN did not replace the internet as it was supposed to.

    CORBA did not replace internet protocols. Java did not replace C. There are hundred of examples like this.

    Cheers,

    --fred
  • by Anonymous Coward
    All this boils down to is Netscape.com wants to deliver AOLTW content to anyone whatever their browser and whatever their ISP. They don't want to force Netscape 6.x or AOL down the throats of their visitors.

    That doesn't mean Netscape won't release a NS 6.x at some point or that AOL won't use Gecko. It's just that the Netscape portal will accept hits from anyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    OS X. It's Unix, but it's touchy-feely; you can use it without ever being aware of the the console. Hell, you can probably convince your users that OS X is Windows XP for about six months (until OS X 10.0.9 or so comes out and they notice that their computers at work aren't crashing quite as much as their computers at home are). Just don't let them sign on as >console.

    Only problem is you'll have to replace all your hardware, but hell, you said you don't mind paying. There are a couple of browsers out for it now (not just IE), and (serious here) I am still not convinced that Netscape is going to just abandon all these years of work on Mozilla just when they finally are in sight of a superior product.

    AOL has tried this two-tiered service business before (what was the name of the genuine ISP they had a few years ago? Around the same time they went to unlimited usage?). Funny, what happened to that? And AOL's content isn't exactly stellar (I know most /.ers haven't seen the inside of AOL since it was the poor cousin to MCI mail, but c'mon); I'm not sure that you can successfully combine the smarts to improve one's experience of web technology and the smarts to improve one's experience of web content.

  • "Lies, damn lies, and statistics".

    Personally I ignore all these types of ratings and stats. As you said, there is *so* much that can be done to weigh the odds in your favor, or to show the odds in favor of whomever you want them to.
  • by Alan (347) <arcterexNO@SPAMufies.org> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @10:56AM (#172957) Homepage
    I hate to break it to you, but the list of platforms you describe is basically irrelevant. So Netscape has cornered the dark back alley of the internet. [...]


    That's all well and good for *you* maybe, but I still use netscape, because I don't happen to run an os in the "95%" range you mention. I am forced to use netscape for mail (unless you can find me a linux mailer that does x509 certs). I've found that recently mozilla and galeon give me the ability to totally dump netscape as a browser, but the hpux/sun/irix's of the world might not be as lucky.

    So while your argument may be true, it doesn't mean that there aren't people still here in the back alley. How about the stats that say that 99% of people in your hometown aren't homeless (or whatever). Does that mean that the 1% that are homeless don't matter? "What? donate to a foodbank? Why, 99% of the people don't need it, so lets just ignore it for the rest".

    The majority is great if you are in the majority. Those not in the majority feel quite different ;)
  • > Hell, Acrobat files even come up in the browser pane.


    which is a common, but evil, bug in the graphical browsers. OK, it's part of a family of bugs. Users should be able to override *all* of the silly things that page designers do--text size, color, and font (FoxNews dark blue on black, anywone), using plugins instead of external applications (No, I don't want to give up a page of real estate while I watch crossfire. OK, realplayer doesn't apply to me until the next election cycle or football season :), blinking (there should be a screen by screen option to defeat all blinking text and recycling gifs)
    hawk


  • I can't tell you anything about the windows version, but under unix, you can choose broswer-applications within preferences, and remove the association to the plugin.


    This still doesn't let you force the launch of an external program when some nutball coded his idiotic page for a plugin . . .


    hawk

  • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @07:54AM (#172960) Journal
    Yes, they're both horrid. When I *must* use one of those, I try to use netscape 3. Currently I have 4.7 installed, since I dodn't use it often enough to figure out how to have 3.0 and 4.7 installed simultaneously under freebsd.


    People, come *home*. That's right, even though you've strayed from the One True Browser, Lynx, it will open you back with open arms. Make sure that your lynx.cfg has
    COOKIE_ACCEPT_DOMAINS: .slashdot.org
    (so you stay logged in) and
    COOKIE_REJECT_DOMAINS: (anywhere else you go regularly),
    EXTERNAL:ftp:wget %s &:TRUE
    (to catch files)
    EXTERNAL:http:xterm -tn xterm-color -T lynx -geometry 80x50 -e lynx %s & : TRUE
    (so that with a . you can open a new browser on a link) and finally


    COLOR:0:black:white
    COLOR:1:blue:white
    COLOR:2:yellow:blue
    COLOR:3:green:black
    COLOR:4:magenta:white
    COLOR:5:blue:white
    COLOR:6:red:white
    COLOR:7:magenta:cyan


    so that you get a light background (the default colors don't work well on a CRT [save a full text console], but are readable on LCD).


    At that point, you are close to Salvation, I tell you. WHen you open lynx, hit "o" to get to the options, tell it to save options to disk, and set the editor to "vi" or "vim," and with a cry of "Hallelujah!" save your options. You can then hit "^Xe" to edit your comments for slashdot with the One True Editor, and free your soul of the abomination called EMACS."


    My brothers, once you've done this, you can see the internet as it was *meant* to be seen. All will be forgiven (except for any web pages you've written that blink, use java, or javascript), and once again, you'll be browsing at high speed and without annoying flashing things and dorky sounds.


    brother hawk, leader of the faithful


    this post void in Utah and for anyone who thinks that Windows works properly

  • Sorry it has to be said -

    Konqueror is pretty damn good competition... sure it doesn't have a built in JVM, but then Microsoft's isn't exactly compliant - download a JDK from IBM or Sun, install flash, and Konqueror 2.1 is very usable :)

    Its much more viable than the behemoth that is mozilla anyway.. imho

    smash
  • The server is / was. The Netscape browser was just that, a browser. Since IIS doesn't run on UNIX, the two choices are Apache and Netscape iPlanet server (yes, I'm aware there are other servers out there, but iPlanet and Apache are the two market dominators). This isn't the invitation to start a flame-thread about Apache vs iPlanet, but realize for Fortune 100 companies still want a commercial entity behind their web server.
    Again, please rediresct all flames to /dev/null

    Secret windows code
  • by Omega (1602) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:42AM (#172963) Homepage
    gutier writes: "It seems that Netscape has recognized that it has lost the browser battle, and has decided to restructure itself into an "Internet Media Hub".

    I don't understand what you mean by Lost the Browser War. It's not something you can win or lose, unless you're talking about giving up from the frustration caused by the monopolistic, anticompetitive tactics of a certain company [microsoft.com].

    As I see it, Netscape is still unopposed when it comes to web browsers. Opera [opera.com] may be gaining, but no other company provides browsers that run on the wide variety of platforms like Netscape does. Netscape runs on AIX, HP-UX, SCO, SunOS, Solaris, Digital-Unix, Irix, Linux, Mac OS, and Linux. Konqueror is making inroads, but nobody has as complete a market as netscape.

  • Umm, you could also buy Internet Explorer in a boxed set at the store for $40. Or don't you remember that?

    Both browsers were available as free downloads from day #1. It might have been only a beta version, but those beta versions were extremely popular at the time because people didn't feel compelled to pay $30 for a browser.

    It's very difficult to argue that Netscape ever intended or made any money off browser sales. The only people who paid for it were corporations.

  • by sheldon (2322) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @07:04AM (#172965)
    Microsoft has already promised to release the source to a reference implementation of C# for Unix as part of their standards compliance process.
  • The companies you are referring to were once making end user software for the Microsoft controlled desktop. Then Microsoft kicks them out.
  • they blew their (first) chance to be dominant on the platform used by 90% of browsers by failing to design their software in a scalable fashion and failing to allocate the resources to software development required to maintain their lead over Internet Explorer. They blew their second chance because of lack of focus on the important goals in developing Mozilla, with too much focus on the standard of the week from w3c. And yes, Netscape/AOL employees *are* the main developers of Mozilla.
  • use a different theme. the default "Classic" is ugly. I prefer "Modern" of the two, though I'd like to research some other themes.

    -l
  • Hrm... I guess if Apple wouldn't threaten people duplicating its look and feel, a Very Aqua Theme[tm] would be a reality. But I mean, hell, they should create their own. :-)

    -l
  • And after fighting with Mozilla for three hours over whether or not ALIGN="right" meant to move the images in the table cell over to the right or not, I finally have up and just redirected all Mozilla hits to microsoft.com.
    This site best viewed with Mosaic Netscape 0.4 [jwz.org]

  • > Hell, Acrobat files even come up in the browser pane.

    which is a common, but evil, bug in the graphical browsers. OK, it's part of a family of bugs. Users should be able to override *all* of the silly things that page designers do ... using plugins instead of external applications ...

    Actually, the fact that Acrobat files come up in the browser pane isn't, as far as I know, the result of a page designer's choice, it's the result of Acrobat Reader running as a plugin.

    Perhaps I've missed something, but I didn't see any point in the Acrobat Reader installation process, at least on Windows, where I can tell it not to install the plugin, nor did I see any obvious way to tell Netscape 4.73, at least, not to run the Acrobat plugin, but to just run the Acrobat Reader binary.

    So, unless I have missed something, it's a silly thing that Adobe and the developer of your browser did, not a silly thing that a page designer did, but it still doesn't seem to be overridable.

    I found that sufficiently annoying (with all the extra screen real estate at the top of my browser windows, the actual display window in which the Acrobat reader appears is too short for me to be able to see a full page at a font size that I can read without moving my head right up to the screen) that I

    1. uninstalled Acrobat Reader;
    2. renamed my Netscape directory under Program Files to Fuckscape;
    3. installed Acrobat Reader - it didn't find Netscape, so it installed no plugins;
    4. renamed Fuckscape to Netscape.
    Fortunately, either the Acrobat Reader installation process on various UNIX-flavored OSes lets you say "no plugin, please", or the plugin isn't found because, on FreeBSD, I'm using a BSD version of Netscape and a Linux version of Acrobat Reader, so I didn't have to get out the chainsaw to fix this on my FreeBSD partition at home.
  • 3) Delete dll.

    I think I might have tried that only to have Netscape whine that the DLL was missing, rather than just running the Acrobat Reader program. But it was a while ago, so I may be misremembering....

  • If you've been staying away because of speed, stability, etc...you might want to give one of the latest nightlies a shot - they've gotten considerably more stable (at least for me, YMMV) over the past 2 weeks or so - and runs *nearly* as fast as konq (it may be graphics slowdown from the overly intensive "modern" theme I'm running, until x.themes.org comes back with thinice ;) ).

    ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla/nightly/latest /

  • * Referring to the fact that MS is destined to become Open Source someday, since Gates already made the error of selling his browser for free.


    Not quite so - MS released IE for free to *undercut* Netscape's prices, and gain marketshare. They also used illegal bundling practices to hedge Netscape out of OEMs - preventing Netscape from coming pre-installed on many consumer-level computers. It was all a ploy to get rid of Netscape - and it worked.

    Giving software away for free is the first step toward realizing that Open/Free Source is a superior marketing strategy in the long run...

    Wrong again. There's a big difference between "free" (IE: no cost) software, "Open Source" (IE: you can look at and report bugs in the source) software, and "Free" (IE: you have the same rights as the author) software.

    Giving away "free" software is just a major undercut of your competitor's pricing, and could only be outdone by either giving away a better package, or paying people to take your software. It destroys (in some cases) much of the "value" of commercial competitors, since as long as your "free" alternative is "good enough", many people won't pay extra for your competitor's software.

    This is how MS played the cards with IE. You could get IE for "free", and it worked "good enough" that most people didn't go get Netscape, which at the time cost around $50. MS went a step further by "bundling" - but that's another discussion.

    "Open Source" software means that you're letting people (in some cases the public, in some cases only a select few "chosen" people) look at the source code, and possibly be able to report bugs - but there's no freedom to use the source code - only to look. While this might prevent some security flaws from going unnoticed, it provides no real benefit to the consumer (at least, IMHO)

    "Free" software is just that - once you have it, you have the same rights as the author. Compile, run, modify, redistribute - you can do it all, and you are encouraged to. Many companies (most notably MS recently) are *scared* by this, since it is very tough to compete with on an even level.

    Just bcause a company gives away software at no cost doesn't mean it has embraces the Open Source or Free software movements, or that eventually they will. It just means they're trying to undercut their competition and gain marketshare.

    * Netscape's gift to the world was not a browser, but the concept that astounding software could be free.

    I won't argue with you here, although Mozilla is (finally) turning into a mighty fine browser =)

    I'd like to see MSoft _try_ to sell their browser any time soon.

    They don't sell their browser as a standalone product - but you pay for it every time you buy a computer with Win* preinstalled, or purchase a copy of any MS software. (Win, Office, etc...)

    MS doesn't need to sell it's browser - by bundling it with the OS, it gets to people anyway. It also makes it extremely tough for *anyone* to sell a commercial browser. Look at Opera - they recently started giving away an advertising-supported "free" version of their browser, but they still have very little in the way of market/mindshare (but they *do* have an excellent product). Can you really justify buying Opera when you have IE for free? (as well as Mozilla, Konq, etc...) It's tough.

    Thanks, Netscape. Rest in peace.

    Yes - Netscape has left their mark - even if they die a slow, horrible, painful death by "portalizing", they have left their mark on the world.

  • Yes. Opera is significantly faster, and believe it or not, it saves me time. I think the small fee is acceptable to save 20 minutes per day and allow time for a "coffee break". It adds up over time.


    I'm glad you've found enough value there to justify the purchase. Opera is a damn fine product. They're just trying to sell their product in a market where most, if not all of their competition is given away.

    But the superior quality of the product isn't enough for the vast majority of people to justify buying a browser - just as the vast majority of people don't change their browser's default homepage - sad but true. They've been conditioned to eat what they're given, and that what they're given is "good enough".

    I wasn't saying it's impossible - I was just saying that for many people, it's tough to justify that purchase.

  • Hehe - I love Konq =) It *is* what Mozilla was trying to be.

    But I do try to keep track of the others - and lately Mozilla's been making a lot of headway. I think Konq is still superior at the moment - but they're both miles ahead of Netscape 4.7 =)
  • I agree with you 100%

    Another point is that when you compile a C program you have the source code and can add the missing delimiters. When you read the web page you cannot fix it, no matter how detailed the error message is (and Netscape produces NO error message).

    It is shameful that people here refuse to say that MicroSoft does anything right. In fact, ignoring the exact letters of silly standards is what the original Unix designers did (that's why we have single-character newlines while Windoze and all others have ^M^J and the unnecessary complexity that adds, and why 8-bit characters work), and it really does result in an easier-to-use system, and also makes it a lot easier to program.

    MicroSoft only does evil extensions when they produce data that can only be interpreted by their programs. This must be fought, but simple changes like this, where the result and how to use it are clear, is not evil, it is just an attempt to be user friendly. People here have got to see the difference.

  • by ink (4325)
    When did Microsoft ever release a product where every feature claimed to work, works consistently, etc.. IE 5.5 crashes all the time for me, plus it takes out EXPLORER.EXE half the time with it. I don't understand why people think IE is so great -- In fact IE 5.0 was much more stable than 5.5...

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • The nightlies still sucked when I tried them about a month ago. Last week, I switched to Konqueror and haven't loaded the old NS4 since. I vaguely miss some of the wizzier features of Mozilla (saving http-auth passwords, form input, themes, etc.), but the speed and reliability of Konqueror is well worth it.

    Plugins actually work, too. Hell, Acrobat files even come up in the browser pane. I don't particularly like that, but it's cool to see things work like they do everywhere else.

    CSS seems a little off with regard to text colors, but I'm probably doing something wrong.

    Try Konqueror. You'll probably be impressed.

    --
  • I use Windowmaker, with a GNOME panel (currently only for GnomeICU, but eh); konqueror and kpasman are the only KDE apps I use. As noted earlier, some KDE libs are required, but you're by no means forced to use a full-KDE desktop.

    --
  • But the superior quality of the product isn't enough for the vast majority of people to justify buying a browser - just as the vast majority of people don't change their browser's default homepage - sad but true. They've been conditioned to eat what they're given, and that what they're given is "good enough".

    Exactly, and that's why Opera can't be successful. I know two (and a half) people who use Opera as their daily browser (on Linux). The first time I saw it I guessed it was Opera, from what I had read about it (big honking ad as part of the browser... that's kind of distinctive). I looked at it and I hated it instantly (I don't like the interface and I don't like the look and I don't like installing something that I couldn't compile by myself). When I asked these people why they liked it they said it was more stable than Netscape (I told one one them about Mozilla, but at the time PSM and Java where flaky and they are not the kind of people that put up with bugs, least report them, every know and then). This "more stable" meant "Opera crashes 1/10th of the times". When I asked if they planned on registering Opera, they said "what for?". When I asked if they didn't find the ads annoying, they said "nuh". As far as I understand the WebAd bussiness, you make a profit if your clients actually *click* on the things. If these people I know represent the opinion of the majority of Opera's users, how's this company going to make money?

  • WTF? Name a hole that Apache has that will allow you to open up a command prompt like you can with IIS & IISHack...

    Fuck, name a non-fixed security problem in Apache at all...

  • The server is / was. The Netscape browser was just that, a browser.

    You obviously don't remember, then, Navigator being sold in the store for around $40? It wasn't free (except to education and maybe non-profit orgs) until after The Man [microsoft.com] gave away his browser for free (and subsequently integrated it into the OS). After Netscape's marketshare started slipping, they decided to follow suit and tried to make money off of their other services, which you pointed out. Sadly, they never could.

  • God I love starting responses like that. :)

    Ever since AOL ditched the Netscape 4 codebase in favor of the AOL supported but still independent Mozilla code-base, I always figured that AOL and Netscape had gotten out of producing Netscape as a browser. To slap a Netscape icon on Mozilla and package in AIM does not make it Netscape. For all intents and purposes, Netscape died when Netscape Inc. opensourced it and the Mozilla crew tossed the old code-base and rewrote the thing in their image (a badly needed thing). I _am_ surprised that only now is the media catching on. What, do we have to hand-feed them now? Are they too lazy to keep up with stuff? Sheesh. Netscape is gone. No more. 4.77 is it. Netscape 6.0/6.1 is based on pre-beta free software - I'm ashamed that AOL did that. How dare they take a very incomplete and unready Open Source project and unleash it on the world as a "finished" project. Is this what goes on behind the closed doors of commercial software makers? "It's good enough - package it, give it a high version number and ship it." - what a crime. Because of that, people's attitude of Open Source software, and Netscape in general have plummetted. I sure as hell wouldn't use Netscape 6.* on Linux or Windows. BUT - I do use Mozilla 0.9 with great zeal and eagerly look forward to future releases. I've installed Mozilla 0.9 on several different platforms and have it out in the "wild" being used by my clients. I migrated from NN 4.77 to Mozilla 0.9 - so I missed most of the pre-alpha/beta stuff except my very brief foray into NN 6.0 (I promptly vomited that bad apple from my system). The guys at Mozilla are quickly doing final cleanup in preparation for the official Beta release - look at the updates on their site. It has the feeling of the final dusting and cleaning before a new house is sold. It's feature complete, rather stable (better now than Netscape and that's with Java, Javascript and CSS enabled) - and acceptably quick, all things considered. The primary focus on the 0.9 - 1.0 is final cleaning and _Optimization_ - following the regular development cycle of "Features first, then Debugging, then Optimization" I'd have to say that they're on the last legs of debugging and already in the midst of optimization. Future releases will be quicker, start up quicker and be stabler. Mozilla already has more features than IE by far - it's a powerful application platform where IE is just some cheesy Mosaic clone with a few improvements and OS integration.

    In summery - Good Bye Netscape. It's been an interesting ride, but I'm glad it's over. Hello Mozilla. Your market share sucks, but since when does market share have anything to do with Open Sourse and Free software anyway? Of course, Mozilla now seems to be our best chance at keeping Microsoft from totally Microsoftizing the Internet. They've got their hooks in pretty deep - we'll see. If you've used an older version, try newer ones periodically. Migration from IE in inevitable. And, future versions of at least RedHat Linux will be shipping with only Mozilla and not Netscape (so they say). Lets hope more distros follow.

    Please be aware that Mozilla is about producing a darn good browser (and more) that works on multiple systems. IE is about maintaining a monopoly. Do the math... Don't ditch your Netscape 4.77 for IE - give Mozilla a try. If it's too slow - give it a while and try again.

  • Why not lose the lizard in the netscape topic icon?
    mozilla is it's own topic now, after all...
    jwz has a new post-post-mortem that is relevant to this article at http://www.jwz.org/gruntle
  • No, layout won't change. What'll change is IE specific plugins and x86 Win32-only binaries downloaded to your browser will be expected to run......

    Layout is irrelevent. Why bother controlling that standard when you can "extend" the Web experience to make it Microsoft-only.

    That's what scares me.

    Jeremy Allison,
    Samba Team.
  • The article states:
    "[Netscape Prez Bankoff] confirmed that AOL has been testing 'Komodo' software, which would let AOL and CompuServe Internet services support multiple Web browsers, including Netscape, as well as perform various other functions."
    Given that that "Komodo" is the name of ActiveState [activestate.com]'s high-profile Mozilla-based IDE, and assuming that a top Netscape official wouldn't overload the use of that name, my question is: Whatchu talkin bout, Willis? =)
    --
    "Merging into heavy traffic at near light speed!"
  • Netscape 6 was based off of very OLD Mozilla code, which even at the time of the release of NS6 was slated as needing bugfixes. These were in the wings IIRC but were not added due to some marketroid.

    Yes, Netscape has problems but I found that using the the current build of Mozilla today, my pages render better in Netscape 4.7x, then Mozilla and then IE... in that order.

    I personally HATE to develop web pages in IE, as they can be broken but you'll never know, as IE 'fills in the gaps' .. a behaviour I can't stand as I WANT to know if the HTML is bad so I can fix it. Sweeping the problem under the carpet doesn't help anyone. People who write broken HTML and then expect luser tools like IE to fix it for viewing are very poor designers/programmers and they give web developers a very bad name.

    --
    Delphis
  • 1) Netscape 6.0 was terrible -- Virtually everyone in my office tried it (once). These are people in the tech industry and therefore somewhat infulential. Ironically, it seems to be hated more by the Netscape 4 people than the IE people. Of course, that's just not news anyone here.

    2) Mozilla is just not advertised enough. Sure, there's lots of good word of mouth here on /., but NOWHERE else. When I try to tell co-workers and other tech people about it they seem rather dubious and don't go out of their way to try it as they did with NS6. My theory is that "Moe Zilla" is just too cheezy and bad shareware sounding.

    3) Microsoft advertises the IE beta on "WindowsUpdate". I bet lots of people get the "Critical Update Notification" and go up to download a new IE patch and end up with the 6.0 Beta. (Generally, MS Beta browsers are not a good bet for average users, so it's strange placement right below the "critical" stuff.)
    --
  • The browser wars shall never end until every IE user is purified by fire!!!
  • Microsoft would not ignore the standards.

    No, of course not. Why would anyone ever think that of Microsoft? I can't imagine ever having any issues with Microsoft's standards support - the very idea is unthinkable. After all, you have to embrace the standard before you can extend it in non-standard ways, you know.

    Heaven is when one browser has 100% of the market share, works cross-platform, and could bring newer, more modern, and more useful features to the public.

    Don't confuse what makes your job easier with what's better for the public - look how nice it's been when almost everyone uses one broken email client, after all. Anyone having 100% market share is always bad in theory, and almost always bad in practice. If there's anyone I would trust to have 100% share of a market, it's not Microsoft.

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • by Jose (15075)
    probably because their main product (Netscape Browser), does not make any money, but is very expensive to keep developing for. Not only is it not making any money, it would be _impossible_ for it to make money. It is free(beer).
    They are a company, they need to make money.

    Is an Internet Portal the way to do it? probably not :(
  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@earthlin k . n et> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @08:58AM (#172997)
    Have they said when, and what the license would be?

    Well, even if they have, I won't hold my breath. They are widely know for "optomistic" release dates.
    And for last minute changes to the license.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I believe Mozilla stands a pretty good chance:

    1) The muckups that NS 6 and NS 6.01 made of the Mozilla image won't be there anymore.
    2) IIRC, the NS development staff have already all but pulled out of Mozilla development.
    3) The latest Mozilla builds are starting to *SHINE* and that alone will give it momentum.
    4) Neither Konq or Opera have the same level of DOM and JavaScript support as NS or IE (Sure, nearly, but not quite)

    I actually use Opera 5.0 for Linux for most things, but still use Mozilla a lot of the time because some sites require either IE or Netscape, and Mozilla is close enough to Netscape to be acceptable to these people.

    I'd like to see a more level playing field in future, with Konqueror, Opera, Mozilla and IE all keeping eachother in check. Without a reasonable number of players, IE will just walk all over the idea of standards based browsers.
    --
  • I use hp-ux and have been looking forward to a port of nutscrape 6 for a long time

    FYI, since Mozilla 0.8, there are prebuilt binaries for both HP-UX 10.20 and HP-UX 11. I know there have been some also for older milestones (M18, IIRC). They are made available some time after the Windows/Linux/Solaris releases.

    Unfortunately, it seems you have to build and install GTK and the other libraries (i.e. libjpeg, libungif, libpng and friends) by yourself, which isn't exactly a painless process on HP-UX 10.20 (I don't know about 11, but it should be definitively simplier).

    OTOH, if you really want it, IE 5 is available for HP-UX 10.20 (just search the microsoft site). At least it seems to work enough...

  • "Netscape Navigator" will likely never be a product again. This is no shock. It will almost certainly be given away (free debugging!), but AOL's primary interest is clearly in developing the next-generation of platform on which to build the AOL client.

    They are trying to gain control over the browser platform for basically the same reasons that Microsoft did. Mozilla/Netscape helps them do this.

    The interesting thing is that AOL needs Netscape more than ever. As MS begins to flex it muscles to see how far the Bush administration will let them go, AOL needs to be very aware of how easily a few key media deals could cripple their market, and having their own browser platform will help make them a little bit more independant.

    --
    Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)
  • Netscape still has a very strong brand name and while it's no longer the case that Netscape == the Internet, the brand is still very valuable and recognized. Wasn't there a story here a couple of days ago about the top-4 web sites receiving 60% of all clicks. Netscape was one of those sites and it sounds like AOL will start pushing it even more now. It's much easier to build on something existing than starting from scratch. When AOL bought Netscape, everyone assumed it was because of the browser. Even if that was the case, the weight has definitely shifted now and unfortunately, it's much because of the failure of Mozilla.

    And yes, I know Mozilla (1.0) hasn't been released yet so it's theoretically too early to call it a failure. But that's the whole point - three years later, it's still not at 1.0 and Netscape 6.x was a flop of monumental proportions. Neoplanet has backed away from it and now it seems AOL is too.
  • Yes, that's the kind of stats I've seen too. What's even more shocking is that Mozilla and Netscape 6.x combined have less than 0.5% market share and IE 6 beta has above 1%, despite the fact that Mozilla and Netscape 6.x have been out WAY longer. Netscape's market share is hovering around 10% and dropping, IE's is closing in on 90%.
  • ...Netscape will become Pathfinder for the GenX crowd. Only that when Pathfinder was live, only us "GenXers" (I hate that term too) were using the Web in the first place, and you know how Pathfinder turned out.

    The browser war is dead anyway. The coming war will be Web-based services (think IM, stock quotes, money management); MS has the better technology, but AOL has the users... it will be an interesting battle :-)...

  • i am frustrated because people won't pay for quality software anymore.

    ***BBZZZTTT!!*** Thank you for playing.

    From the original message in the thread:

    I downloaded the free version and ended up purchasing it. For $39 it just seemed like a great deal.

    /.
  • I don't mind the idea in general. It's just that Microsoft's cars come with Firestone tires and fail rollover tests. Where can I get the monolithic Toyota or Mercedes?
  • by drfalken (43743) <<moc.redaerkeeg> <ta> <neklafrd>> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:04AM (#173015) Homepage
    There was a time when netscape.com was the most popular destination on the Internet b/c it was the default start page for almost every browser. This was back in the days when a lot of people didn't understand how the Net worked and were willing to be guided by the hand. Amazingly Netscape did absolutely nothing to capitalize on the opportunity to become the critical portal on the web. Yahoo etc wouldn't have stood a chance.

    I guess they can try to play catch up, but I'm beginning to think that whatever brand-equity is left will quickly be transformed into a negative image. If they can't make this reorganization work, the name will become synonymous with Betamax (if it isn't already).

    For my money 'though, I'm glad that Netscape missed the boat on the web portal opportunity. I don't think the web would be half as interesting a place if everyone had to go there to do anything. The competition and innovation inspired by leaving room for this to be done by others has produced countless successes and failures over the past few years.
    ----------------------------
  • Well, it's about time Netscape got with it and jumped on the dot com [fuckedcompany.com] bandwagon. The whole "media hub" thing is a really cool new idea...I mean nobody's [real.com] doing [apple.com] that [windowsmedia.com].
  • Well, bringing up your point about the homeless would just be meeting one reductio ad absurdam with another, which I'd rather not do. As it happens though, I'm just talking about realpolitik here: I also run some of those "other" operating systems (Yet Another BeOS User going down with the ship... :( ), but I also realize that as a web developer, it only makes sense to devote 99% of my attention to that 99% of the browser market.

    Yes, there is virtue in developing for the lowest common denominator. For a long time, I was only happy when my pages looked good on Lynx, even though I knew Lynx traffic was never more than a couple percent of total web users, because if a page looks good there then it should look okay anywhere. But increasingly, I'm treating Netscape as that lowest common denominator platform, because it's handling of great stuff like stylesheets is so crude that I have to keep everything as simple as possible in order for it to work there. Frankly, Lynx has kept evolving, and it's no longer as necessary to dumb things down for it, but Netscape/Mozilla has only grown uglier and I really can't be bothered with it.

    Someone else pointed out, and I agree, that more often than not the Solaris, HP, &c boxes are used as servers, accessed remotely via other machines that very often are running something much less esoteric, such as (gasp!) Windows or Macintosh. Both of those systems are capable of running a much better browser than Netscape. Counting such proxy users, my guess is that usage of Windows or Macintosh goes even higher than the 95 or 99 percent share they have to begin with.

    With that in mind, I really think that anyone using anything else is just being difficult. Please don't misunderstand me -- I'm looking forward to the brave GNU world as much as the rest of the /. audience is. But if you're rejecting use of IE just as some sort of political maneuver, you're just being difficult and I, as a web developer, really can't be bothered to cater to you. I *like* Linux and its cousins. My main work computer is NT, but I spend all day working on Linux machines via SSH, and I run FreeBSD at home. But I realize that I am the anomaly, and that most users -- the people I want to see my web pages -- are using more typical arrangements.

    I'm going to cater to those average users, rather than expect them to meet my esoteric prefernces. Most of them are going to be using IE, and rightly so -- it's just flat out better software than the alternatives. It's easier than Netscape to develop for (hey how about that, software that obeys K&R's "be liberal in what you accept and strict in what you send") and has better support for new technologies like CSS & XML. Unlike Mozilla, IE isn't a bloated mess that crashes all the time. My understanding is that it was developed by a small team of coders, and you can tell -- it feels much more cohesive than Mozilla, and the tight interfacing with the rest of the operating system is no coincidence. Evil monopolistic overtones aside, I *like* that the component services IE provides, like the html rendering engine, can be used all over the system. It makes things much easier & more efficient to work with, and will probably make big "loose coupling / tight cohesion" efforts like .NET, if not easy to pull off, then at least *possible*. I can't see any way that a big monolithic monster like Mozilla can compete.

    IE is just so much better in so many ways that advocating Netscape against it is like trying to make a case for the telegraph against a modern cell phone.

    If that makes any sense, I realize I'm rambling. Sorry.

  • Oh sure, but let's deal with the here & now. IE *is* dominent, overwhelmingly so, and really there isn't any viable alternative on the horizon. As much as people talk about Mozilla here, that's all it is -- talk, here, on Slashdot, where we're weird-o geeks that give a shit about such trivial things.

    The rest of the world could care less.

    I fully expect that there might well be some other dominant browser in five or ten years (if we're even using a tool that could be recognized as a browser by then...), and in my wildest dreams it might even running on something other than a Microsoft operating system.

    Sure, that could happen.

    But the future is the child of the present, and what we will have then will be an outgrowth of what is around today. Whatever that future browser is going to be, it'll either have to reject everything currently existing (not likely), or it'll have to draw on today's standards, both de jure (from the W3C) and de facto (IE compatibility). I feel secure that by sticking to today's de jure & de facto standards, which do *not* include Netscape, then whatever comes I'll be able to handle it, as will the web pages that I've been making.

  • Psst! Hey! Guess what? Apparently no one told you, but Netscape has long since become irrelevant. Roughly 89% [w3schools.com] of users are still running some version of IE, while only 7% [w3schools.com] are using Netscape. The same source tells us that well over 90% of people are using some version of windows, with only 1% running Macintosh, and all others combined don't even merit a mention.

    Looking at another site [mycomputer.com], I find roughly similar numbers -- an 80/10/5 [mycomputer.com] split on IE/Netscape/AOL(that is, IE again) usage, and a 95/4/1 [mycomputer.com] split on Win/Mac/Other usage. I know there are lies, damn lies, and statistics, but I think these numbers are pretty valid -- look anywhere and you'll find roughly similar figures.

    I hate to break it to you, but the list of platforms you describe is basically irrelevant. So Netscape has cornered the dark back alley of the internet. Big deal, they can have it. The browser war, as you seem not to understand, was (past tense) a fight over which software would become the de facto standard access point to the web for the average user, and the result of that war has been settled & done with.

    Having better cross-platform support is a trump card if & only if the other platforms are statistically significant, but they aren't -- just ask anyone that was hoping to see something come of the BeOS. Netscape is finished, IE is in control of the web now. There are fringe browsers out there that might help keep IE honest (Opera, Lynx, W3M, Omniweb, Mozilla, and Netscape), but the're nothing more than fringe players, and for most purposes insignificant.

    Netscape was alright back in the day, but let's not treat this dead horse too badly, ok?

  • I have to laugh at some of the IE postings here on this topic. Seems the Billy's drones are ever vigilant. I've been quite pleased with Opera 5.x. I downloaded the free version and ended up purchasing it. For $39 it just seemed like a great deal. Also, as a programmer, I was impressed that a small group of people could produce such a superior browser - especially for that price. If Gates charged for IE... for the bucks he really spends on developing it... I bet it would cost $200. But then again, stick around... it another year or so, it probably will.
  • I paid for opera... $39. I'd be happy to pay for IE. Tell me, how much do you think MS has expended on it's development? Based upon that...how much do you think they should charge for it?
  • by handelaar (65505) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:01AM (#173028)
    Without a reasonably strong browser in popular use, how on earth can Netscape.com attract visitors? It doesn't work to simply have other AOL-TW companies plug Netscape.com on air or in print because users associate (for example) CNN with CNN.com. Which, if memory serves, is why Pathfinder was such a roaring success.

    The premise of this posting is wrong. AOL cannot get mega-traffic without browser integration. How else do you think MSN gets so much traffic? It sure isn't the killer search engine.
  • Yep, I guess I should upgrade because it makes your life as a content provider easier? Sure, ok. My point is there may be no reason to do this.

    If I have an old car that works, I don't throw it out just because its old. Netscape 4.X works well for many people. But as you say, they should be forced to upgrade. Why? When you manage hundreds of PC's upgrading is a fairly nasty task that causes a lot of disruption. If your tech. support measures service levels, a mass upgrade throws a real wrench in the works. The upgrade treadmill, brought to you by closed-source vendors like MS is what sometimes makes IT a hellish place to work (I know for you its different browsers looking at your content).

    Theres no real need to be on the upgrade treadmill anymore (thats what's changing MS's liscencing scheme). You can upgrade when you want and how you want. I'll upgrade all the PC's from Netscape 4.X to Mozilla when I want and how I want.
  • That's not really good for Mozilla. Mozilla needs a big company to support it in order to get some serious market penetration. I still have hopes that AOL will eventually embed Mozilla directly into AOL.

    What else can be done to gain some marketshare? IE ships with almost every computer sold world round, how do you compete with that?

    If Mozilla only gains marketshare in *nix, that won't really help us at all. We need some marketshare in Windows for Mozilla to become a viable browser. If we don't get that, the web is doomed to become "Windows Only".

  • by MrEfficient (82395) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @06:30AM (#173038)
    Is it really protected, I mean in terms of it continuing to be worked on. Aren't the majority of developers Netscape employees? Sure the source will be there, but unless someone fixes it, I don't consider it to be a viable browser. On windows, I'd rather stick with IE. On linux, I'll probably use Konq.

  • by 4of12 (97621)

    probably because their main product (Netscape Browser), does not make any money, but is very expensive to keep developing for.

    Good point.

    However, there simply has to be enough battle-scarred, experienced PC developers in their midst (especially from AOL) for them to realize that, once they concede the browser, MS will leverage that platform for its own business objectives, just as they have leveraged and continue to leverage the OS for their objectives from the get go.

    Be assured the new "features" of IE 7 will "work best with MSN".

    And, BTW, the business objectives of MS includes promotion of MS sites and portals, since growth of the company requires new markets, the old markets for OS, Office and IE having been effectively conquered and saturated.

    If I were Netscape, attempting to compete on portal business with someone on an equal footing (say yahoo, for example), that would be one thing, more than a sufficient challenge. In such a contest, may the best portal win!

    But, if I were competing with MS, I'd live in fear of the day the ax would fall and end my pitiful existence, as any worthwhile features I developed would be embraced, extended and repackaged by MS. And, when the next version of consumer Windows is "released" (on all the new hardware, as is typical), their market share will inexorably climb, as the complexity factor prevents most of my target audience from untying all the knots joining Windows to IE to MSN. And I would end up playing catch-up ball, trying to adapt to the new standards.

    Netscape is simply following a tactical decision here to die more slowly, giving up the better long-term strategy because they haven't increased their browser market share in, what, 5 years?


    "With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy."

    --Sun Tzu
  • "internet media hub" is 150% buzzword compliant.

    ask your mom if she would rather visit is portal, or an internet media hub and see which one she chooses.
    =\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\ =\=\=\=\=\
  • Why would AOL buy a browser? As a result of Microsoft "cutting off their air supply" the browser has been free for years. When did it become free, late '97? I remember because the place I work was in the process of a software audit to register the shareware applications, etc., floating around the office, when Netscape went free for businesses too.

    Netscape users are STILL 15%-20% of the market, maybe more. You'd be shocked how many are around, and that's will Netscape 4.x. Mozilla will bring more if Fizzilla (the Carbon Mac OS X one) and the core system improve AND Mac and Linux both gain marketshare... both reasonable assumptions.

    Mozilla helps Netscape IF Netscape ships a branded Mozilla (which they STILL will). Mozilla users => web logs indicated Netscape 5 or 6 or whatever users. If 30% of my traffic is Mozilla based, I can't ignore the browser. This let's Netscape stay competitive by their browser being supported.

    Remember why AOL bought Netscape. They wanted to reach more Internet users. ICQ users and Netscape users are a VERY different kind of user than their AIM/AOL users. Most of my friends at school were using AIM, so I slowly moved in that direction, but it's telling who is still on my ICQ list and hasn't moved over.

    AOL wants to sell their stuff everywhere! They have a LOT to sell.

    Netscape remains valuable because users with Netscape.com as their home page ARE NOT users that normally use AOL products. They would have no easy way to reach them on the Internet. Netcenter (or whatever they call it THIS week) changes that.

    Alex
  • In fact, ignoring the exact letters of silly standards is what the original Unix designers did (that's why we have single-character newlines while Windoze and all others have ^M^J and the unnecessary complexity that adds, and why 8-bit characters work),

    Wrong. The use of "newline" as a line delimiter is compliant with the ASCII standard revision in the 1970s that says that LF should imply CR, rather than simply moving the printing position vertically. That, in fact, is why UNIX uses LF, not CR, as the line delimiter, and that's in one of the early UNIX notes.

  • A one-browser world is very bad. It will lead to proprietary extensions to HTML. In time, HTML will be as obtuse as Microsoft Word format.

    Microsoft will probably start to put things in HTML that lock out non-Microsoft authoring tools and non-Microsoft servers. Expect to see Visual Basic start to replace JavaScript, a mechanism for including sections in Word format, and something that replaces Flash. Or maybe Microsoft will just extend Windows Media Player to handle the full MPEG4 set of navigation objects and such (with, inevitably, "Microsoft extensions"), and migrate authoring to Media Player format.

    And then only Microsoft search engines will work, killing off Yahoo, etc.

  • by mr_gerbik (122036) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @06:12AM (#173058)
    "Netscape.com's base of registered users has grown 37 percent to more than 40 million worldwide from 15 million in February 2000, the company said."

    ... its no wonder why netscape lost the war
  • because ASP.net works with components that generate the HTML for you, based on what the browser is able to render, so Netscape can survive the .NET age. In fact, .NET development makes it easier for webapplication builders to support more browsers, by just writing 1 codeset, so netscape users are not forced to upgrade when they want to use a certain webapplication.
    --
  • Ya know, this could actually be a good thing for mozilla. Now that AOL has basically told us it isn't interested in making a browser any more, the importance of Mozilla becomes very high. IE cannot be the only browser, but Microsoft competing with AOL doesn't make much sense. IE is simply better than Netscape. But having an open-source alternative which runs on most platforms is important. Maybe it's time for someone other than AOL to fork Mozilla and take over development. I'm a big believer that large scale open-source won't work in today's age without corporate (or NPO) backing, but AOL just isn't cutting it.
  • Most people seem to forget about how the W3C works, and see this as a reason to bash Microsoft.

    Microsoft would not ignore the standards. Versions 5 and 6 (so far) of IE, have incredible support of most (CSS2 stands out like a sore thumb) of the standards. The extra things are added for the advancement of the web standards. If something is popular, it is added to the standard; otherwise, it is removed in later versions of the browser.

    The thing about IE that I love (as a proffesional web developer) is its support for practically anything I need. If something is programmed one way for NS4, it is different for Mozilla, but using IE, I can write the code either way.

    Mozilla isn't too bad; it does support non-standard properties (eg. innerHTML), but Opera is another matter. It supports nothing new. It can never help advance the standard (Is this needed with XML coming up?), and therefore is merely a bane to web development, weakening modern tools.

    Heaven is when one browser has 100% of the market share, works cross-platform, and could bring newer, more modern, and more useful features to the public.

    Sorry about the rant, but I do get tired of writing, checking my code in six different browsers (Have to check in Op4 and NS3..*shudder*) all the time.
  • You won't find a reference to this anywhere. It's just one person's (rather uninfomed if you ask me) opinion of things.

    They seem to be forgetting that the web is much more than just Windows desktop systems.

    If you want your apps to work with Linux, mobile internet, console devices of the future etc, java is probably the way to go.

  • It's out there, on hard drives, fully compilable. I'd say it's safe.

    But I have to agree that Netscape as we know it is dead, has been for a while. AOL has the code, but so does the rest of the world, and we already have one spinoff (Galeon). I don't think the Netscape name is even worth much of anything anymore.

    So my thought -- use Mozilla if you want, and if you don't feel free to strip the body for parts.

    /Brian
  • by neo-phyter (167886) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @07:06AM (#173082)
    I mean, even I back away from Netscape's browser..... "Slowly, slowly......... It's gonna blow!!! RUN RUN!!"
    Allan
  • by Skuto (171945) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:05AM (#173085) Homepage
    How will this affect the future of Mozilla?

    Yes, its under a free license, but let's not
    forget nearly all development is still done
    by Netscape employees.

    If 80% of the developers have to work on other
    stuff, it's going to be Nomorezilla fast enough...

    --
    GCP
  • it almost sound like Microsoft wants access to the AOL instant messanger market in exchange of AOL being on the desktop.

    And Aol is pushing to have the AOL Instant messanger be the standard or else it will start converting lots of its users to Netscape. or something like that

    This somehow ties into the fight over Windows XP. The big companies didn't care as much when microsoft was going after smaller companies like Netscape. Now suddenly it is their lunch on the table, and it becomes important.

    And of course, I am cynical about how all of these optional features are now suddenlly urgeant core features of the MS OS, but that is a rant for another day.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • New features are fine when they are truly innovative. If MS had invented Napster, that would be one thing.

    MS has more than 25 billion dollars cash reserve. but they need the money, I guess

    80 % of the Users use 20% of the features.

    I have seen too many companies been bought out by MS where the technology vanished, never to be seen again. And where if you didn't want to sell out, your product became their innovation in the software, or the next urgeant core feature to the OS.

    I do know someone is playing a kind of "keep up with the Jones" thing in buying software and Hardware. All of his "expert friends" (people who would get confused by a name like "slashdot") say you have to have "XYZ" this and "ABC" that. And the result is that this guy has thousands of dollars of software that he has never even used once. Things like Photoshop, PageMaker, etc. because of this clueless urge for the latest thing.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by YKnot (181580)
    Why is it that all companies have to become Portals after they give up their main product and before they die?
  • Sure, you and I and all the other power users can do the things that appear simple to us, but the grandmoms and lusers of the world, which make a great majority of the user base, will not have the first clue about how to deal with this and will just use whatever is on their machine. No, you didn't need javac, but somewhere in there was a jar file or something else working at the strings, which won't be there anymore. We'll have a plethora of ways to set up Java which will settle into an inconvenient and somehow incompatible mess.

    At that point you'll snap out of it and wonder what all the hue and cry about C# is from the management.

  • That's what I meant by it being COBOL-ized into the background. There are people still programming plenty of valid applications in languages that most think are dead/dying but are actually alive and getting good use (see LISP). Java would still live on in the background as something that powers the engines of the net on the server side, but it would not be the applet driving Java that was in our faces for the past 7 or so years.

  • by referee (191944) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:25AM (#173098) Homepage
    First they ignore you...
    Then they laugh at you...
    Then they fight you...
    Then they become a portal?
  • How exactly is an 'Internet media hub' different from a portal?

    And how exactly do Netscape intend to make any money from it when companies who have been doing it from the start [yahoo.com] can't?



    --
  • Sorry, but your rather strange conclusions cannot go unchallenged.

    "Netscape did not lose the browser war. Netscape won when Microsoft made IE available for free."
    OK, I guess it depends how you define "won", but using the generally accepted definitions, M$ did indeed win - there are far more copies of M$IE in use round the world than there are of NS. Heck, depending upon which figures you use, there are far more copies of M$IE in use than ALL other browsers put together :/
    Oh yeah, and how on earth does M$ releasing IE for free mean NS won?!?! I guess, using your own argument, M$ won the OS wars because Solaris, *BSD, Linux, ANX, BeOS et al are all available for free, right?

    "As the philosophers say, once that camel's nose gets into the tent, pretty soon the whole camel is in the tent. Referring to the fact that MS is destined to become Open Source someday,"
    Oh dear! You quote a saying and from that draw a completely unconected conclusion.
    Just because M$ give IE away for free (for now) doesn't mean they will Open Source it. Nor, indeed, does it necessarily mean they won't start charging for it again in the future if they feel the can get people to pay for it.

    "Giving software away for free is the first step toward realizing that Open/Free Source is a superior marketing strategy in the long run..."
    Yeah, right. And selling software is the first step toward realising that Open/Free Source is an inferior marketing strategy in the long run, using your own argument.
    I hate to burst your bubble, but software can be given away for free without it evenr being Open Source.

    "Netscape's gift to the world was not a browser, but the concept that astounding software could be free."
    Ah yes, of course, because there was no free software before NS were forced to release their browser for free (note - FORCED, not CHOSE TO, but FORCED to in order to "compete" with M$ who gave their browser away for free to try to beat NS).

    "I'd like to see MSoft _try_ to sell their browser any time soon."
    You do realise you are talking about the company which charges people real money to beta-test M$'s software for M$, don't you?
    If M$ thought they could con enough people into paying for IE, it'd be sold rather than given away again tomorrow.
    Of course, they can give it away for free because they just subsidise the costs via all their other software anyway.

    --

  • by tenzig_112 (213387) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:15AM (#173109) Homepage

    1. Start-up -> Overnight Success
    Start telling everyone that the old economy is dead and that you're the only one with any new ideas. When your stock options mature, put your hand over your winnings and tell the dealer, "let it ride, my man!"

    2. Failure of the Core Business
    Your competition has eaten your lunch. Those bridged you burned in step 1 are starting to look like mistakes. Maybe your mom was right, giving stuff away is no excuse for a business plan.

    3. Bring in the Cavalry
    If your customers abandoned you, perhaps the federal government will be more sympathetic. It may take years to reach any kind of legal satisfaction, but hey, at least history will remember you better this way.

    4. Become an Internet Portal
    During your hard road to financial catastrophe, you may not have garnered much cash, but you have earned a commodity far more important in today's economy: name identification. Parlay your fame into portal success until the money runs out completely. This is also a great way to lay off large numbers of employees quietly- in the same way that letting the air out of a balloon slowly makes less noise than a pop.

    I think I know the next big dot-com to go under [ridiculopathy.com].

  • by mr_goodwin (220609) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:11AM (#173112)
    Actually this probably isn't the case. The vast majority of java development (for a couple of years now) has been server-side. For many companies, the main strength of java as a language is not platform independance, but the comprehensiveness of the APIs available for it.
  • So is this then Netscape's second death? First they make browsers, then they're a portal (as announced circa 1998), then they're bought by AOL, which brilliantly gave SUN all of the company's real products [iplanet.com]. And now they're a portal again? Weren't they a portal before? Back when they announced the deployment of MyNetscape...

    But wait a minute, now they want to start developing media agrogation products (maybe)? Weren't they o their way to doing that before all their server products were sold off to sun as the iPlanet 'partnertswhip'?

    Sounds like yet another major direction change... Bad management? or maybe I'm just confused...

    Oh, and for anyone who needs a recap of the earlier merger speculation around Netscape, before AOL bought them, here's a pretty good article from 1998 [zdnet.co.uk] that evaluates each potential suitor as to what they would have added to the company.

    --CTH
    1. Netscape did not lose the browser war. Netscape won when Microsoft made IE available for free. As the philosophers say, once that camel's nose gets into the tent, pretty soon the whole camel is in the tent. Referring to the fact that MS is destined to become Open Source someday, since Gates already made the error of selling his browser for free.
    2. Giving software away for free is the first step toward realizing that Open/Free Source is a superior marketing strategy in the long run...
    3. Netscape's gift to the world was not a browser, but the concept that astounding software could be free.
    4. I'd like to see MSoft _try_ to sell their browser any time soon.
    5. Thanks, Netscape. Rest in peace.

    -jdjs
  • That is because they started HIRING the people who were interested in developing it. I remember when Mozilla was just getting off the ground and Netscape was giving job offers to those that were doing the first improvements to it. And I would suspect that most opennings (though I don't know this for a fact) are probably filled by people who have made improvements in the past to Moz. So yes - Netscape probably does do the bulk of Moz developement but ONLY because they suck up the good independent developers by hiring them. I don't see this as a bad thing but I don't see it as a phenominon (sp?) that is any big deal to the future developement of Moz if Netscape losses interest. BTW- 80% sounds way too high.
  • by pkesel (246048) <pkesel AT charter DOT net> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:42AM (#173135) Journal
    The browser war, Microsoft versus software vendors, Microsoft versus OSS, these are all variations on the idea of a monolithic computing environment versus the standard computing model of an OS and apps. Microsoft wants to make its Windows environment a complete system where users are not inclined to add or replace components. Like a car today. Few people replace the radio or the seats, or even wheels and tires. It comes as a unit. Microsoft wants your computer to work this way. That's why it's bundling everything in XP. The rest of the world, especially the Linux/OSS camp, wants to have the computer be a skeleton on which they hang all their neat toys.

    I can't imagine why a browser will remain a viable tool in the next few years. Microsoft and others will be putting little pieces of net content into very app, serving small pieces of data content rather than pages and links. The browser and page-based content is a cumbersome way to do business. It's going away some time soon, I'd bet. It's another step to the monolithic computing environment.
  • If you thought Netscape was strict on tags, what do you think will happen when browsers are 100% standards-compliant? I'm pretty certain the parser is supposed to break when tags are malformed. Think of it like a compiler: You couldn't get C to compile if you left out a crapload of closing-parentheses and end-braces; why should *ML parsers try and figure out what you meant when you left out all your /P and /LI tags?
  • Another sucessful story Open Source beats commercial product: we have Apache, now Mozilla....

    Wait....who is the winner if Netscape fall? Mozilla....or IE?
  • I work in a large corporation where my job is to help set and implement multi-year technology strategies. One of our fundamental principles is to exploit 'open' technology standards whereever possible (Java, IP, browsers, etc.). The underlying goal in this is to avoid vendor lock-in and give us room to maneuver.

    We run quite a bit of our internal admin function on a browser, so here's my problem with the whole Netscape fiasco. Since they abandoned the browser business (had to be prior to the garbage that is Communicator 6.0!) my choices for a corporate-standard browser are pretty limited. I have a lot of Win32 desktops (arrghhh!!) and I'm pretty much stuck with IE. Whether you like Netscape or not, at least we had a veneer of mainstream competition for the browser.

    I have the current dilema of moving 10,000+ desktops off OS/2 over the next few years. Since browsers play a factor in deciding the new o/s we'll use, what are my options? I'm serious folks! I'd love to consider some flavour of Unix client, but I need a standards-compliant browser from a reputable vendor that will provide support if I need (I don't mind paying!).

    So, I think the Netscape debacle (for me) is all about erosion of choice - especially for large corporations that are fairly conservative about who they bet the business on. Tell me I'm wrong folks!

  • > There was a time when netscape.com was the most popular destination on the Internet b/c it was the default start page for almost every browser. This was back in the days when a lot of people didn't understand how the Net worked and were willing to be guided by the hand.

    What makes you think this isn't still the case?

    Unique visitors over the week ended 5/27, from Nielsen//Netratings [209.249.142.27]:

    1. AOL Time Warner 37,812,191
    2. Yahoo! 30,903,169
    3. MSN 27,571,264
    4. Lycos Network 9,271,098
    5. Microsoft 9,262,228
    . . .

    Every time I lower my standards and open IE, no matter what my homepage was last set to, I see it contacting a Microsoft or MSN site. If I open a defaulted browser, it touches microsoft.com and then loads MSN.Com. I.e., the reason you see them broken out in the Nielsen numbers is Microsoft wants you to do the math and not realize they're double-dipping. (If you go to the Nielsen table you see that microsoft.com has by far the lowest time-per-session of any of the top 10 properties. Millions of 1-millisecond trips tends to pull one's average down, wot?)

    AOL gets a hit every time an AOLer dials in, and any time Netscape redirects a user to Netscape.Com.

    This hasn't changed at all. It's getting worse. AOL will probably do everything it can to keep Microsoft from usurping it on this list, including making pacts with them that make it worth Microsoft's while not to take them down.

    --Blair
  • What Netscape needs to do is create a Good-Looking, Feature-Rich, portal for advanced users.

    One thing I hate about all the portals is that they are built for dummies. It gets really annoying. Also, all the portals are simply ugly, and that should also be taked care of.

    BTW, I think Netscape Communicator is dead. Mozilla is taking over, and there is no doubt about it.

  • I don't have stats handy, but I would say that a large portion of IE's dominance is due to its inclusion in the AOL client. The size of that portion determines the potential impact Gecko could have if it replaced the IE engine in the client. Total replacement, that is, not just existing as one of many choices. If you had choices, lots of techies would advise lots of Joe Users that webpages are still by and large designed with IE in mind, and so the user should pick IE, which is just as if the choices didn't exist.

    If Gecko were implemented as the one and only engine in the AOL client, its userbase would increase dramatically until it were a formidable contender against IE, and so the Web would move away from IE standards and--dare I say it?--to W3C, which Netscape claims to adhere rigorously to. (The other possibility is that people will get tired of Gecko incompatibilities with IE stuff and just launch IE on top of the AOL client, but I really doubt the average user would bother or even know it was possible.) If this new "Internet media portal" is really Netscape's new focus, I wonder how much it will retard their browser development and diminish the possibility of the above scenario.

  • by emn-slashdot (322299) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @03:59AM (#173154)
    Mozilla is protected. This is what Open Source software is all about. I wonder if this will tip the tides in the konqueror/mozilla battle. I, personally, don't use Mozilla (was never impressed too too much) but I'm glad it's OSS/Free Software.

    Thanks Netscape,

    -EvilMonkeyNinja
    a.k.a. Joseph Nicholas Yarbrough
    Security Grunt by Day
    Programmer by Night
  • Netscape's gift to the world was not a browser, but the concept that astounding software could be free.

    This is true, if by "astounding" you mean:

    Astoundingly tiny, ugly, unreadable fonts.
    - or -
    Astoundingly strange behaving widgets.
    - or -
    Astounding waste of screen real-estate with huge, inflexible toolbars.
    - or -
    Astounding number of bugs patched and repatched until some 4.x release almost works and beomes a mysterious standard of compatibility frozen in time.

    :-)

  • Quite simple really. They were 'fat and happy', and then IE comes and starts kicking their asses, and they start work on a browser that is basically unusable! dum dum dum ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!
  • by leifb (451760) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:19AM (#173170)
    How will this affect Mozilla?

    Not at all, but not because of any licensing protection. To quote:
    "The browser is a crown jewel. However, six months from now, you won't consider Netscape to be a browser company"

    That's nowhere near a statement that they're dropping the browser. If anything, that's close to saying "the browser is *done*! We're going to start developing to it as a platform now!"

    And hey, here's a surprise: that fits with the Mozilla roadmap! We should have been expecting this, and many people were.

    From further on:
    "Netscape is by no means a rejection of its software legacy, as components of its browser technology will continue to power new features of Netscape's media services aimed at office workers, small businesses and sophisticated Web users."

  • by leifb (451760) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @04:25AM (#173171)
    It takes a community browser and builds services on that infrastructure, almost as though the company had realized that software is not a product, not an end in itself, but rather a tool, in this case a means of distribution.

    Isn't that how they're supposed to make money with open software?

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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