On Feb 1, 2008, AOL will withdraw support on all versions of the Netscape Browser. The company is now urging users to migrate to Firefox instead.
From the mid 1990s when the Netscape Browser commanded over 80 percent of the Internet browser market, its market share has, in recent times, reduced drastically.
Bidding adieu to the veteran browser, lead developer, Tom Drapeau, wrote on the Netscape blog that AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported Web business leaves little room for the size of investment that is required to get Netscape to a point many of its fans expect it to be.
Meanwhile, afficianados can continue using Netscape after Feb 1st next year, however there won't be any security patches.
People who are hooked on to the Netscape interface are advised to download Netscape 'skins' or themes for their Firefox browsers by Drapeau.
Netscape Communications was bought by AOL for $4.2 billion back in 2000. In 2003, Microsoft paid AOL Time Warner $750m towards settlement of an anti-trust case brought against the software giant for alleged illegal conduct and thwarting of competition in the market for operating systems and Web browsers.
Needless to say, Microsoft had used strong-arm tactics to get PC builders to bundle IE 4.0 instead of Netscape on their desktops. What went in Microsoft's favor of course was that IE was free unlike Netscape, even when the latter was at its peak...AOL, Microsoft, Netscape, Browser, Support, Netscape Browser