I wish I could say that I’m surprised, but AOL has decided to kick the can on further Netscape Navigator developments. The Netscape team will publish security updates for one more month (until February 1, 2008), and after that Netscape Navigator will just be a memory. Here’s what the Netscape blog had to say:
While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Recently, support for the Netscape browser has been limited to a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.
Without Netscape one can only wonder where the web would be. They were a major stepping stone for Internet use, and I’m sure many of you remember using early versions of Netscape Navigator. Now it will be nothing more than a story we tell our kids.
Netscape’s latest attempt to provide a version of Firefox with a custom theme and extensions didn’t take off as well as they had hoped. Many of the features available in Netscape 9 were also available in Firefox as extensions, which gave existing Firefox users little reason to switch to Netscape.
Now I’m left wondering where existing Netscape users will go? Switching to Firefox would make the most sense, but something in my head says that people are going to make the move back to Internet Explorer.