The Future: The Mozilla Foundation and the End of Netscape

Thursday July 17th, 2003

There's a lot of confusion surrounding Tuesday's creation of the Mozilla Foundation and the disbanding of the Netscape browser development team.

While a major loss, the end of Netscape does not mean the end of Mozilla. There is no way that AOL can revoke the Netscape and Mozilla Public Licenses and make the code proprietary. The Mozilla code will continue to be available to all. AOL has also agreed to transfer the Mozilla trademark and other intellectual property (much of it dating back to when Mozilla was Netscape's mascot) to the new Mozilla Foundation. Netscape-owned hardware (such as the servers) will also be transferred to the new organisation. AOL will continue to employ some Netscape staffers, such as Asa Dotzler, for a couple of months to help with the transition.

The Mozilla Foundation marks the first time that the Mozilla project actually has a legal existence ( was always just a more informal group). This new organisation, which is hoping to gain non-profit status under California law, will continue's work of guiding development. Teams such as staff, drivers, reviewers and module owners will continue to work as before. In addition, there will be a new Board of Directors, made up of Mitchell Baker, Brendan Eich, Christopher Blizzard and some new faces, including Open Source Applications Foundation head Mitch Kapor. The Mozilla Foundation will be funded by donations from individuals and companies, such as Sun Microsystems and Red Hat. AOL will provide $2,000,000 of funding over the next two years.

Up until this point, has produced builds of Mozilla for development and testing purposes only, with end-users encouraged to download distributions from vendors such as Netscape. However, the new Mozilla Foundation plans to target end-users directly. The beginnings of this strategy can be seen with the redesign of the front page.

#31 Re: Mozilla should get Netscape browser brand

by kepardue

Thursday July 17th, 2003 3:49 PM

You are replying to this message

Why not start a new brand of browser, with a completely different name? Not Netscape, not Mozilla, but something sharp and clean, attractive and sexy (and no I'm not talking about the *bird philosophy). Netscape is a very attractive name, but has labeled with it the crud of being an AOL-owned piece of crap left over from the 6.x days. I know people who won't try Netscape simply for the fact that it was AOL's wh*** and, well, it's just Netscape. Mozilla is a big ugly name from the get go and not very appealing. The non-tech community as well as the tech community should be used to choose a new name, nothing that will be too techie for the masses, nor too obscure for the developers. Get away frome the cheesy marketing code words and choose something appealing, that rolls off the tongue. Like Netscape, only better... That way, the project will get away from the negative connotations that have been nailed to it over the past several years. This could potentially be an amazing birth of an amazing, well, not only product, but philosophy. A religious experience, even... okay maybe not. But it could be a very, very good thing.

just MHO of course.