Netscape Taking Orders for Netscape 7.1 on CD
Saturday June 28th, 2003
The Inquirer is reporting that Netscape has started taking orders for Netscape 7.1 on CD. The new Netscape browser is not yet available for download but the contents of the /pub/netscape7/english/7.1 directory on Netscape's FTP server were publicly accessible for a few hours earlier this week. The Netscape 7.1 CD order page lists prices of US$2.99 for a Netscape 7.1 CD and US$9.99 for a CD and guidebook, with those figures good until July 11th. Most of the links on Netscape's site still point to the older Netscape 7.0/7.02 CD order page.
Note: This is not a sales pitch on behalf of Netscape. This headline doesn't make clear is this is the 1.4 trunk of Mozilla and will include a host of new features. Also, its newsworthy because it illustrates that the Netscape organization has NOT quit working on the Netscape Browser. Apparently the browser wars are not over after AOL's <a href="<http://news.zdnet.co.uk/s…/0,,t270-s2135387,00.html>">recent deal</a> with Microsoft
that link came out odd. it's: <http://news.zdnet.co.uk/s…/0,,t270-s2135387,00.html>
Add to that integrated AIM/ICQ, a commercial grade spell checker and Netscape 7 isn't all that bad :-) I am certainly looking forward to Netscape 7.1, which I'll use at home.
I don't think this release is indicative of Netscape's continued health. Netscape has been working for months on this; the AOL deal with Microsoft was just sealed and signed, as far as I can tell. Of course they're going to put out 7.1, they've been working on it for awhile now.
I think some people are claiming Netscape is dead because there seem to be fewer and fewer developers working on Netscape proper. The thing is, the only thing Netscape really has to worry about for browser releases is anything they want to include that Mozilla doesn't. Another reason us that most of the developers that worked on Netscape at one point are evidently now working on AOL stuff. But tell me AOL Communicator hasn't benefited Mozilla? Think of all the work that AOL developers have done to improve the integrated AIM client for AOL Communicator - I have a feeling those benefits will also be visible in Netscape 7.1. So, while AOL engineers may not be directly working on Netscape, indirectly they are.
Also, if I'm reading the release of the AOL/Microsoft deal correctly, AOL doesn't "have" to use IE, it merely has relicensed it as part of the agreement so that they can use it as long as they want to. AOL may never switch to "Netscape" but I do think they're likely to switch to Gecko once it has enough industry support. This deal with Microsoft doesn't seem to be restrictive; Microsoft "really" wants AIM interoperability and that's what they got. I don't think Microsoft really gives a rat's ass whether AOL continues to use IE or not.
Put simply, the browser war will most likely not be rewon by Netscape - the war may, however, be rewon by Mozilla as it becomes an underlying technology in more and more applications and platforms. It's mozilla.org, with help from Netscape, that has brought Mozilla to the point where many people are saying it's better than IE. It'll be mozilla.org, not Netscape, that continues to dramatically improve Mozilla as a technology. Netscape hangs on now as the most visible showcase of what Mozilla can do as a commercial application and I think it's likely that this will continue.
As an entity Netscape is less and less definable within AOL, but that doesn't necessarily mean that future releases of the browser are in jeopardy. AOL doesn't want to lose all of the AIM members that Netscape brings in, certainly, nor do I believe they want to they'll want to lose all of the eyes that view Netscape.com every day, or the ad revenue and exposure to AOL properties that the site brings in. In short, in my opinion Netscape is not dying, it's merely being absorbed and intricately integrated into AOL.
#17 Re: Re: also...
Sunday June 29th, 2003 7:24 PM
"But tell me AOL Communicator hasn't benefited Mozilla?"
It hasn't. It's done the opposite.
#18 Re: Also...
by IsoSchi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sunday June 29th, 2003 8:08 PM
>> But tell me AOL Communicator hasn't benefited Mozilla?
> It hasn't. It's done the opposite.
Any chance of an elaboration on that? Where has it 'done the opposite'?
Although AOL communicator uses Gecko it doesn't use XUL or other Mozilla technologies, so the only thing in AOL communicator that uses Mozilla technologies is the displaying of HTML mail. The interface and the AIM client is all native code
>>> Put simply, the browser war will most likely not be rewon by Netscape - the war may, however, be rewon by Mozilla as it becomes an underlying technology in more and more applications and platforms. <<<
Sad to say, I don't think this is going to happen. As we've seen, "regular" users use whatever is available. Features like tabbed browsing and type ahead lookup don't get regular Joes excited - they have barely mastered the back/forward buttons. Popup blocking may, but this feature has been offered forever for IE by the ISPs like Earthlink and now AOL, etc... so, IMO, that cancels the only feature for which Moz could beat IE in the regular users' eyes.
With corporations, it is similar - I had found. IE means one less install to worry about. And employees are unlikely to risk their jobs and go against the PC police at the workplace which mandates IE.
Case & point, I wrote a very Firebird-friendly data-entry web application (because I use Firebird) with a layout that favored the "type ahead find" and ability to place focus on a dropdown list and then type your entry (in IE, each letter brings forth the first time that matches the letter). Using the app with IE was ok, people were complaining that they had to switch between mouse and keyboard too often (remember, this is a data-entry app). So I had a couple of people download and unzip Firebird and they didn't have to use the mouse. Within days, just about the entire department converted, mostly because "type ahead find" and dropdown box features saved so much time. Within days though, the IT dept got wind of it and wiped Firebird off everyone's PC.
The app I working on now is using link prefetching. This feature is awesome. The response time is nearly instant. People can't believe it is a web app. Of course, I tell them that it'll still be slow on their box because they use IE.
Anyway, good job and thanks.
#3 Whats new in NS 7.1
by heha97ad <email@example.com>
Sunday June 29th, 2003 5:16 AM
Well I Managed to grab a netscape 7.1 while the ftp doors where open, and here is what I found.
- The installer now mentioens "Gecko Runtime Environment" - The Installer now has a "Developer pack" component, that includes tools like DOM Inspector. - A few tweak on the preference side (good things, just can't remeber the specifics) - A new NS integeration with McAfee Clinic is mentioned during the instller, but I haven't figuresd out how to use it yet. - The adressbook now sync's with the webmail adress book - comes with all the usual integartion like Webmal, Radio, etc. Which is a GOOD thing!
all in all a stable 1.4 release
I'll probably order one, not because I really need it, but it's a cheap way of showing AOL there's still interest in Netscape, plus as they've contributed so much to the Mozilla project the small amount on income they may earn off these CD's is at least some sorta thanks from Mozilla users.
OK, there's a lot of decisions I've disagreed with that Netscape have made in the future, but remember the mozilla project wouldn't have existed without Netscape and they've now made mozilla to the stage that it can survive well with or without their help.
The question no one seems to know, is what are Netscape's plans for the future. Is the new Fire/Thunderbird based mozilla gonna be the basis for 8.0, are Netscape just going to stay with the seamonkey branch, or after 7.1 just moving aside. I'm sure this will only become apparent once 7.1 is shipped and we see what the Netscape developers are working on.
Um, you disagree with decisions they've made in the future? How much did your time machine cost, and where can I get one? ;)
Netscape can/has to extend the UI of the separate applications to create its integrated suite. It'll take too much resources to maintain two trunks -- just look at Firebird this month. I just hope GRE becomes so nimble AOL will decide to adopt it.
(I can dream, can't I?)
I'll probably order the CD but not the book. I bought the CD/book package of 7.0 mostly to send them some more money to encourage their continued support, but the book was terrible. It's chock full of "clicking FOO causes FOO to happen" and "click MUMBLE and follow the on-screen instructions". I was hoping that *somewhere* in all that paper it would tell me something that I wouldn't have assumed anyway in under a millisecond.
#5 I wont Order One
by TonyG <firstname.lastname@example.org.Yuk>
Sunday June 29th, 2003 9:51 AM
I ordered one last time, had money taken out of my Account and the CD + book never turned up. I sent a mail to the address on the page but never got a reply.
I have now lost details of payment etc so I cannot chase Netscape.
I ordered CD's of NS6.0, 6.1 and 7.0. Each time they arrived within three days. Yeh, I know NS6.0 was a shambles but I've kept the original CD, in it's sleeve, unopened. I could of course use it as a coffee cup coaster, but I have tons of old AOL CD's for just that very purpose. That NS6.0 makes me think positive about how much Netscape and the underlying Mozilla code has improved, stabilized and matured since those dark days . . .
I never had a problem with delivery of the CD's I've bought off them in the past, perhaps I've been lucky. So I think I'll go ahead and order it to support them.
I was looking at an unoffical test build on Netscape 7.1 <http://sillydog.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2446> (use at your own risk) and it had chatzilla included with it - that seemed odd, they'll probably remove it for the final version.
But first impressions with this release, it seems fairly good, not many changes from Mozilla, they seem to have left most of the good features from mozilla in, so it's a good end user release. As always some of the defaults are different, and it includes the ActiveX plugin on Win32.
Was your "as always" part meant to refer to that, as always, it carries an ActiveX plugin? If it has, I must have missed it. :)
I did see an official-looking Netscape 7.1 user agent string, and it had the words "ax" in it somewhere--and the site I saw it on speculated that that might stand for "ActiveX." If so, that's certainly a big obstacle overcome for Windows users--although if it's the same as the unofficial Mozilla/Netscape ActiveX plugin (from Adam Lock, if I'm spelling his last name correctly), it isn't quite 100% compatible.
Maybe one of these days we'll be able to finally dump IE and use Mozilla/Netscape for Windows Update. :-D
By 'as always' I was referring to some of the preferences are set to different defaults from the mozilla build, from the obvious ones like the homepage set to netscape.com, the fact the tab bar shows with only one tab open, typeahead find isn't set to start automatically by default, instead you have to use ' to activate it for links (and as in mozilla / to find any text).
The ActiveX plugin is Adam Lock's never tried it to see if it works.
Funny thing...now that I come to think about it, the same thing happened to me with 7.0.2. Making matters worse, this was to be an overseas delivery, so postabe alone was $20+
Hopefully, I can find the confirmation email to somehow get my money back or at least the CD+booklet