by Mike Masnick

Will Anyone Notice Netscape's Return?

from the target-audience? dept

While most people had written off the Netscape browser, assuming that AOL had all but left it for dead when they spun off Mozilla, it turns out that AOL really is planning to release a new version of the browser, which basically has everyone asking: but why? Mozilla, on its own, seems to be getting some traction, and Netscape will still be based on Mozilla. Meanwhile Opera is still innovating in the browser space and the Mac folks still seem to like Safari. At the same time, most of the known universe is still stuck on IE and don't see any reason to change (despite there being plenty of good reasons). So, the question is where does Netscape fit into this space, and what does AOL hope to get out of it? No one expects AOL to add any significant features to Mozilla, and the average AOL user is still stuck on AOL's own browser (which is still based on IE). About the only reason anyone can come up with for this release is that there are still some folks using older Netscape technology, and therefore AOL decided to refresh it. Perhaps that defines AOL's strategy these days: "Let's just kind of stick with what we have and refresh it periodically and hope that no one realizes there's a lot of other stuff out there." No wonder users are bailing out by the hundreds of thousands.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2004 @ 10:09am

    do you watch TV?

    'Netscape', if one watches the commercial ad, is a me-too low-cost net-zero competitor. I was disgusted, actually.

    I can only suppose, given your news of a browser refresh, that AOL wants to tie the server brand to the cheapo internet service.

    If only they could die through bad karma alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg Andrew, 27 May 2004 @ 11:24am

    No Subject Given

    I think the answer is Why not? It's not a lot of work for AOL to upgrade Netscape; Mozilla does the coding and AOL just adds a few tweaks and logos. Even if its browser share is just 1-2% (Gecko has about 5% of the browser market), that's not nothing, and it's safe to say that it is a better browser than IE at this point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ::CORY::, 27 May 2004 @ 2:45pm

    The New Coke

    Netscape is dead as a browser. The only reason it's brought up anymore is when in discussion about how Microsoft killed it, or if it will ever come back.

    Mozilla, called Netscape even with AOL logo's on it is still Mozilla.

    Napster 2.0 is not Napster and the New Coke wasnt new or coke.

    A product that is a name, like Netscape was, is dead when it's name is no longer synonymous with what it was.

    So basically even if they release Netscape version 86, it's not Netscape anymore. The only reason that the name is even kept around is because it's so ubiquoutis with the internet in general and it is recognized as an "internet thing". But I bet 9 out of 10 non-geek people who have heard of the word could not tell you what it even is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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