Marc Andreessen Praises Mozilla

Friday February 14th, 2003

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of NCSA Mosaic, Wired News has an interview with Marc Andreessen, a member of the Mosaic team who went on to co-found Netscape Communications Corporation. Andreessen has this to say about Mozilla: "When Mozilla opened source code in 1998, everyone expected things to happen overnight. But it took a few years for the project to catalyze. Now people have an open-source alternative that's fast and free and works. The user interface is definitely getting better, and over the last four or five years, dynamic HTML and JavaScript have gotten more sophisticated as a UI platform... I'm using Mozilla pretty much full time."

#8 ... an older, less capable ancestor of Netscape

by GAThrawn

Sunday February 16th, 2003 7:11 AM

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Very true, but you have to look into the background to see why your knee is jerking in th ewrong direction.

Marc was part of the team working at NCSA who wrote the NCSA Mosaic browser. At the time there were only about half a dozen web browsers in existence and Mosaic was the only graphical web browser (other than Tim Berners-Lee's original web browser, which was actually the very first web browser, but only ran on Next machines). This was 1993 long before the web was even a blip on Microsoft's radar, when Windows 1995 was released, in '95 :-), it didn't have a bundled web browser, in fact MS hadn't even written one yet and were starting up their MSN dial-up service to _compete_ with the internet and AOL and Compuserve!

Marc left the NCSA taking a lot of their Mosaic engineers with him to form Mosaic Communications (later renamed to Netscape) they then released a browser that redefined the browser paradigm and called it Netcsape.

It was well after he left NCSA that Microsoft decided that they needed to get into this internet thing and, not having time to write their own browser from scratch looked around for a browser to license or buy. They did actually have discussions with Netscape about buying or licensing the browser technology but these fell through and they went back and bought the license to use Marc's previous effort from the NCSA, so in fact IE is based on an older, less capable fore-runner to Netscape!