history, technology, cyberculture and nostalgia find a place to meet and mix


The rise and fall of Netscape has been well documented. A little too well. Its kind of passé now. Yes. I know that Netscape was a thought leader on the internet. It created all things good. It was the reason why people stayed glued to their computers, navigating through the world wide web. Its IPO is considered the official start to the dotcom era. It was the reason the internet got popular and became what it became (an orgy of porn and meaningless rants). All before it was unethically crushed by Microsoft and a lethargic AOL.

In 2007, support for Netscape web browsers was officially discontinued. But no one really cared. Mozilla (which was a result of Netscape's efforts) was here. Opera was here. Hell! Even Internet Explorer was good enough. I felt no tinge of nostalgia for a software that by 2002 had become a garbled piece of one-upmanship (against Microsoft's IE). It was a symbol of failure. A symbol of Schumpeter's process of creative destruction.

The internet has changed over the past decade. The cause has been the intense competition that accompanied every single new idea. Netscape's failure only made me believe, like other trendsetters, you are only as good as your current product. History counts for nothing in the cut-throat, constantly innovating software industry. (Of course I hated Microsoft and capitalism for a little while, but life goes on.)

The Documentary

Code Rush is a 1998 documentary following the lives of a group of Netscape engineers in Silicon Valley. (Just prior to the AOL Merger.)


 Internet Wars -- Microsoft Vs. Netscape: Goliath Takes On David -- Navigator Still Ahead - But Losing Ground (Year 1997)
ZDnet - The Rise and Fall of Netscape
Berkeley - Strategic Computing and Communications Technology Project - Rise and Fall of Netscape Browsers
Living Internet - Netscape History
A Visual Browser History, from Netscape 4 to Mozilla Firefox
Andrew Turnbull Network - Netscape Navigator Version 1
Killer Products : Netscape Navigator 1.0

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