AOL cuts Netscape browser ‘life support’

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AOL has taken a surprising move to stop supporting its Netscape Navigator on the 2nd of February 2008; after stopping development on the 28th of December.

Netscape Navigator was one of the browsers that kicked started what we see now as the internet today. Developed by Marc Andreessen, the co-author of the Mosaic Browser – one of the popular browsers; he released the browser in 1994.

During the boom, it had a reach of 90%; but now it has diminished to a mere 0.6% – being beaten by Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

The start of the demise of Netscape came in 2003 when AOL, the parent company, sacked most of the development working on newer versions of the browser. Most of the staff are now working on Mozilla Firefox – which is the second most used internet browser.

Old versions will still be avaliable up on their website; with AOL still committed to using the Netscape brand as an internet portal. Previously, it was to be a “clone” of Digg; but now it has been renamed.

Microsoft is expected to release a new version of their Internet Explorer browser in 2008; while Firefox is developing version three, where it is currently in beta.