Curtains for Netscape

by Paul Jay,

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.

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Adam S

Netscape is still a great browser and it is sad to see it go. The browser first introduced SSL for secure E-commerce as well as a variety of other features. As it stands today, Firefox borrows its engine and Netscape is basically a reskinned Firefox.

Posted February 29, 2008 01:17 PM



*pours our some liquor*
I switched when I upgraded to Windows '98. IE was bundled and it was easier to just use that. Plus, I remember how difficult it was to completely remove Netscape from my was almost like a virus.

Posted February 29, 2008 05:33 PM



For what it's worth, Interlog was absorbed by Uniserve, not Sympatico.

Posted February 29, 2008 07:38 PM



In 2004 I bought an iBook with OS X. Safari was the default browser.

Posted March 2, 2008 11:46 AM

Mike Little


I started using Firefox 0.8 back in 2003 or 04 and haven't looked back. My parents though, are stuck on Netscape and think the world of it.

Posted March 2, 2008 05:57 PM



I switched to IE when Netscape 6 was released. It had just become too bloated and buggy. But I switched to Firefox long before IE reached version 7.

I used to do tech support for an ISP in the US that was affiliated with AOL. The only people who seemed to still be using Netscape were AOL customers who had become fed up with the AOL software, but didn't have the knowledge to look for options beyond what AOL recomended. And most of them couldn't even tell the difference when I helped them switch to IE.

Posted March 3, 2008 09:13 AM



I used Mosaic as my first browser and adopted Netscape as soon as it was available. Hve Netscape on three Mac desktops, two Mac portables and on my Windows laptop. Still works. I usually flip between netscape, Firefox Opera and Apple Safari, but I've too many bookmarks in Netscape to give it up willingly

Posted March 3, 2008 03:08 PM


IE6 still outperforms Firefox x.x on my system. I make use of the fact that it is built right in to my OS for its performance AND Windows Explorer interoperability.

Personally, I hate tabbed-browsing. I have a task bar for a reason. Alt-Tab on a tabbed browser=Whoops!

Posted March 3, 2008 06:32 PM



As a Mac user, I always thought that it was antithetical to use IE. When I first went on the Internet in 1994, I used AOL, then switched to Netscape shortly after. I stopped using Netscape only this January.

It was an excellent browser (although some Mac versions were buggy). The mail program was excellent -- much more complex than my current Mac Mail program.

Posted March 3, 2008 10:24 PM


I gave up on Netscape after the last of the 4.x line got too old to use. v6, as mentioned by mt from Ottawa, was just too buggy. I don't know if I did anything more than install and uninstall v5 in between.

I guess that means I switched to IE around its version 5. I had started with Netscape around version 0.9 as I recall. Everyone else remember the big blue N that "cycled" in and out when it was loading pages?

Farewell Netscape.

Posted March 4, 2008 10:57 AM


I started off using Netscape around 1995 until win98 and IE4 showed up a few years later. From then on, I pretty well used IE until about 2004 or so when I made a more or less permanent switch to Firefox.

Today, due to running both linux and windows, and because of browser specific sites, I use both IE7 and Firefox2. Netscape hasn't been on my computer for almost 10 years now but I remember it fondly when I was an internet neophyte.

Posted March 4, 2008 03:33 PM

Paul B


I was using Netscape until version 8 was released. Version 7.2 was great, but was started to show its age. When Version 8 came along, I couldn't stand it and Firefox had matured enough for me to adopt it as my full-time browser, since Internet Explorer always was and always is a piece of ****.

Posted March 4, 2008 06:07 PM



I held on to Netscape for a good while, until 2004 or 2005. I grew up on it, so to speak, and was reluctant to switch. Like other commenters, however, I found the later versions buggy and once I gave Firefox a chance, I stopped using Netscape altogether. I like Firefox's similarity to it in style and function, though I don't bother with tabbed browsing, either, and it runs very cleanly.

Posted March 5, 2008 08:19 AM



Firefox, too me, was the worst. I used it all last year. It's plugins were buggy and faulty at most times, and rarely ever worked to its full potential. Its multi-window or Multi-tab browsing was had the worst 'lag' compared to IE. I also found that FF would collide with programs such as Freestyle Street Basketball launcher, iTunes, Fruity Loops, Guitar Pro and more. It's loading time for each webpage almost doubles IE loading time, and through firefox, it won't load many pages, with all the proper buttons, links, etc... or display the sites information properly, often in html coding. As far as Netscape is concerned... Thank God the hatchet has been buried.

Posted March 5, 2008 08:28 AM

Dave A


I have used netscape until last week. for over 12 years! Can't say I ever got a virus or worm with it. all my friends using IE always were complaining about viruses! I guess the programers just forgot about our little 0.6 per cent. Now i got to learn IE!

Posted March 5, 2008 11:27 AM

Link Mack

Hey all,
I used the old Netscrape =-) LOL when I got my first Mac II LC AKA the Pizza Box Mac. Netscape was a good program then, you have mail and a web explorer all in one. I had mine set up with Trek sounds for incoming mail and other stuff. Can't remember when I stoped using it, used IE for most of my internet needs till Safari came out but now I use Fire Fox on my origional Bondi Blue suped up iMac and my put togeather PC game macine. DEATH TO IE as far as I am concerned!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted March 5, 2008 03:31 PM

Edgar Governo

I'm still using Netscape 7.2, which (as Paul B said) is great, so it's working out fine for me...

When Firefox first came along, it seemed to simply rip off Netscape, especially since its big "new" feature was tabbed browsing, which I'd already been using for over a year.

I may have to switch to Firefox at some point (the same way I have to use IE now for various sites that are tailored to it), but as long as this trusty old workhorse does right by me, I'm sticking with it.

Posted March 5, 2008 03:53 PM



goodnight sweet prince

Posted March 6, 2008 04:05 PM

Link Mack

Hey All,
I used the Old Netscrape =-) back when I had my Pizza Box Mac ( II LC I think). Netscape was a good program, all in one browser and mail. I used it on my UMAX c600 Mac Clone. Not sure when I stoped using Netscape. I used IE on my C600 through to my Suped up Bondi Blue iMac and home built PC game machine. I used Safari on my Mac and PC. Now I just use Fire Fox on both...DEATH TO IE!!!!!!!! and tabed browsing ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted March 6, 2008 04:17 PM

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