AOL to Release New Netscape Update in Early Summer

Tuesday March 30th, 2004

The Inquirer is reporting that America Online is to release a new version of the Netscape browser. The upgrade will be a "'point' release based on the latest Mozilla code" and "will be made available in the very early summer timeframe." Speculation that an update was in the works began last week, when the San Francisco Bay Area's Mercury News paraphrased an AOL spokeswoman as saying that "there will be future versions of Netscape that are essentially repackaged upgrades of Mozilla."

The confirmation that a new Netscape release is on the way does not indicate that AOL is planning to provide any further development or financial support to the Mozilla project. Indeed, no AOL employees are paid to work on Mozilla and we can expect this latest version to be even more similar to Mozilla than previous releases. The more intriguing question is what made AOL change its mind about shelving the veteran browser.

#38 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New stable branch?

by bzbarsky

Thursday April 1st, 2004 6:24 AM

You are replying to this message

And as Peter pointed out, the major issue I have is the fact that developers are kept completely out of the loop on decisions like that. Sorry if that was not clear from my previous post, but if drivers were seriously considering this possibility like you said then they should have SAID SO. Publically and clearly. We have newsgroups for things like this. In addition to Mozilla developers, I'm sure there are also embeddors who would have loved to have some inkling that a new API-stable branch was in the offing, since that would have prompted them to push for bug fixes they want in products they plan to ship in the next year.

So to summarize, I think that this decision was made for all the wrong reasons and more importantly in all the wrong ways. It pretty much epitomizes the chronic communication failures has at their "finest."