Thursday, December 05, 2002

I pitched a story to the Tribune on the rise and fall of the Netscape browser--once a widespread Web icon, Netscape is now used by only 3 percent of Web users according to a recent NY Times report, with 96 percent on Internet Explorer; it was closer to 65%-35% in favor of Explorer in 1999. But my editor already had the answers to the questions I proposed to ask:

In a last gasp during the browser wars with Microsoft, Netscape made its source code public in the late 90s. Then AOL bought Netscape in 1999 and the name pretty much disappeared into the AOLTIMEWARNER vortex. AOL launched a Netscape version called Mozilla but it never went very far, and Netscape is pretty much finished unless AOL decides to put major marketing money behind it. The old version of Netscape that you remember as a free download no longer exists.

You can get it here, though:

Netscape browserThe most welcome aspect of Netscape's decline is the loss of the vacillating Waiting bar at the bottom left of the browser. Bouncing back and forth like disturbed water in a bathtub or a presidential candidate waffling on the issues, it was the most annoying illusory symbol of progress since hold music on customer service hotlines.

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