MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Independent Project Status Reports

Tuesday May 15th, 2001

This week's report features updates from K-Meleon, DocZilla, the Links Panel, and the new Link Element Toolbar. Enjoy!


#75 Re: Not catastrophic?

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Sunday May 27th, 2001 7:03 AM

You are replying to this message

"...it may not be a total disaster for us, but if I were a Netscape developer I expect I'd be livid. Am I the only one who thinks that if AOL does this they'll be signing a large number of Netscape redundancy letters?"

It would be a real shame if Netscape stopped developing browsers. The idea of the company that started the growth of the Web (okay, so it was NCSA Mosaic, but the two browsers were developed by largely the same team) dying is almost unthinkable. But a lot of pioneers in the computer industry are no longer the leaders. When was the last time you heard about VisiCalc (lost out to Lotus 1-2-3 which in turn lost out to Microsoft Excel), WordStar (lost out to WordPerfect which in turn lost out to Microsoft Word) or dBase (lost out to Microsoft Access - notice a pattern emerging here?). Will we be saying the same about RealPlayer (lost to Windows Media Player?), ICQ (lost to AOL Instant Messenger which in turn lost to MSN Messenger?) and Netscape (lost to Interent Explorer?) in the future?

To the point about whether AOL would lay off the Netscape engineers. I'm not sure. AOL bought Netscape because they wanted what was then Netscape Netcenter. They just saw the browser as a means to get people to visit Netscape's sites. Maybe they will give up on Netscape, or maybe they still have faith in them (they're still developing Project Komodo after all).

"'Netscape' (the non-existent sub-entity of AOL)"

Is Netscape non-existent? I know that the Web browser bit and portal bit are seperate bits of AOL, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (the management of AOL's technology division is likely to appreciate Netscape's needs better than the management of their online content division).

I'm really not sure about this. It looked all clear cut that AOL Time Warner and Microsoft hate each other, but after this deal, I don't know. Maybe AOL plans to end the deal with Microsoft when it thinks that its prescence in Windows is no longer important? But with talk of AOL dropping RealPlayer in favour of Windows Media Player, I'm not sure.

Alex