Curtains for Netscape

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Few things make you feel quite so old as the march of technology, and the rapid rise and fall of technology companies.

Way back in 1995 I purchased my first computer, the hulking Mac Quadra 950 desktop computer, perhaps the last ugly beige desktop Mac would make before switching to sleeker fashions. At the same time my internet service provider was Interlog in Toronto, which was bought a couple of times and now is part of Uniserve (and not Sympatico as posted earlier. Thanks to Colin for the catch.)

And, of course, my browser of choice was brought to me by a company that provided nearly everyone's browser in an era of little choice: Netscape.

How things have changed. Tomorrow, March 1, represents the last day AOL - which bought Netscape in 1999 - will provide support for Netscape Navigator, a browser that's market share has slipped to 0.6 per cent.

AOL recommends users update to either Firefox, the spiritual successor to the once-popular browser. For nostalgic users, AOL recommends downloading Mozilla Firefox and then adding on "the Netscape theme and Netscape extensions" available on its site.

Netscape's rise and fall was typical of the first dot-com boom: the company had a huge initial lead but squandered it and allowed Microsoft to take control with its Internet Explorer browser, especially after Microsoft started bundling IE with Windows 95. That later versions of Netscape were notoriously buggy didn't help, either.

But since we're feeling nostalgic, we want to ask you: when did you make the switch from Netscape to another browser and why? And if anyone knows of someone who still uses it, we'd be curious to know how that's working out for them.