Netscape Navigator

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Netscape Navigator is a proprietary web browser that was popular in the 1990s. It was the flagship product of the Netscape Communications Corporation and the dominant web browser in terms of usage share, although by 2002 its usage had almost disappeared. This was primarily due to the increased usage of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser software, and partly because the Netscape Corporation (later purchased by AOL) did not sustain Netscape Navigator's technical innovation after the late 1990s.[1]

The business demise of Netscape was a central premise of Microsoft's antitrust trial, wherein the Court ruled that Microsoft Corporation's bundling of Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system was a monopolistic and illegal business practice. The decision came too late for Netscape however, as Internet Explorer had by then become the de-facto web browser in Windows.

The Netscape Navigator web browser was succeeded by Netscape Communicator. Netscape Communicator's 4.x source code was the base for the Netscape-developed Mozilla Application Suite (later renamed SeaMonkey.[2] Netscape's Mozilla Suite also served as the base for a browser-only spinoff called Mozilla Firefox and Netscape_(web_browser) versions 6 through 9.

AOL formally stopped development of Netscape Navigator on December 28, 2007, but continued supporting the web browser with security updates until March 1, 2008, when AOL canceled technical support. AOL allows downloading of archived versions of the Netscape Navigator web browser family. Moreover, AOL maintains the Netscape website as an Internet portal.[3]


Contents

History and development

The creation

Netscape Navigator was based on the Mosaic web browser, which was co-written by Marc Andreessen, a part-time employee of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a student at the University of Illinois. After Andreessen graduated in 1993, he moved to California and there met Jim Clark, the recently-departed founder of Silicon Graphics. Clark believed that the Mosaic browser had great commercial possibilities and provided the seed money. Soon Mosaic Communications Corporation was in business in Mountain View, California, with Andreessen as a vice-president. Since the University of Illinois was unhappy with the company's use of the Mosaic name, the company changed its name to Netscape Communications (thought up by sales representative Greg Sands) and named its flagship web browser Netscape Navigator.

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