Death of a legend: Netscape is no more
On one of the final days of 2007 we are forced to say goodbye to an old legend. On December 29 2007, America Online decided to pull the plug on the Netscape project. For many people, including myself, Netscape was a big part of discovering the Internet in its early days. Netscape started in 1994 as a fork off the Mosaic Grandfather of all browsers (yes, I used that one too), and started the battle for the web by taking on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. AOL bought the brand name and the technology a while back, but the browser that had won the war had fought its last battle.
I’ve been active on the internet since 1993, when the first few consumer oriented providers started here in the Netherlands. With our first set of install disks (yes, back in those days you had to install the internet on your own computer ;-)) came the Mosaic browser, a gopher client, and some other clients. This because the Internet is so much more then just the World Wide Web and e-mail (don’t forget IRC, gopher, whois, telnet and tons of other networks and protocols that are used to serve you with your daily batch of information and interaction). Soon we started building webpages and using the Webcrawler search to find other people’s work online. But Mosaic was limited, and the world was moving fast. And then Netscape came to the rescue.
In my humble opinion, the Netscape browser made the web sexy for everyday users. And therefore it was instrumental in making the internet what it is today, a part of our everyday lives. And for that, I am very grateful to Marc Andreesen and all the others who started the Netscape project because they forsaw that this Interweb thingy had a great future ahead.