Netscape 6 Released
Tuesday November 14th, 2000
Netscape 6 has been released. You can download the installer here.
#177 Netscape and Standards Support
Friday November 17th, 2000 12:25 PM
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> My points have been that N6 (or even Moz) will make a small dent in the IE user base, and unless some serious changes are made, this spells catasrophe *regardless* of how W3C compliant the Mozilla browser will be.
I don't agree.
Market share does not matter (it may matter to AOL, but not to me).
What matters is that the Internet remains, for the most part, open.
In other words, what matters is that we have a choice of what OS or browser we use to access websites.
What matters is that websites continue to support *open* standards.
By "open, I mean:
- Documented (unlike Microsoft's secret APIs).
- Stable (unlike Microsoft's shifting APIs).
- Conformed To (unlike Microsoft's intentional quirks and extensions).
- Free to Use (unlike Microsoft's patented protocols).
In order for websites to continue to support open standards, it is necessary to maintain a critical mass of users with browsers that support standards.
It doesn't matter if those users are using Mozilla, Netscape, or some other browser, such as Opera, as long as it supports standards (which basically means any browser that doesn't come from Microsoft).
Therefore, Netscape doesn't have to gain share from IE (though it would be nice). Also, AOL doesn't have to switch to Netscape (though it would be nice).
All that matters is that Netscape (or other standards-compliant browsers) maintain a significant market share. And, the current share of over 20% should be sufficient. After all, 20% of 200 million equals 40 millions users, which is too large for businesses to ignore.
If Netscape can maintain a good percentage of its current Windows user base, then, combined with the ongoing growth of desktop Linux, and gecko-based Internet appliances, it should be possible for Netscape to maintain over 20% market share.
It's true that Microsoft has enough money to buy off some businesses into non-compliance, but, every time Microsoft plays that game, its just one more nick in their self-inflicted death of a thousand cuts.
Therefore, I don't buy your doom and gloom scenario. This release is good enough, and will act as a starting point for maintaining, and even growing, Netscape/Mozilla's market share.
Which means that support for Internet standards will continue, and Microsoft has lost their bid to take over the Internet with proprietary protocols.
Mozilla and Netscape developers, and AOL, are to be congratulated.