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.
#14 Re: also...
Sunday June 29th, 2003 4:33 PM
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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.