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.

#49 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New stable branch?

by asa <>

Thursday April 1st, 2004 7:24 PM

You are replying to this message

"As it is, we're screwing over all the other embeddors because of what Firefox/Camino/Thunderbird want. Would we have done the same if the branch was wanted by Epiphany and Galeon instead of Firefox/Thunderbird/Camino? If not, why not? Is there a significant discrepancy? Or is the fact that those projects are more closely tied to coloring our judgement? (I suspect the latter.)"

I think it's very likely that we'd give similar consideration to anyone that's capable of giving us the distribution that this lineup of 1.7 based products will. Firefox is out-downloading SeaMonkey nearly 2 to 1 for the last release and I don't think that Epiphany or Galeon are going to come close to the numbers that Firefox 1.0 and Seamonkey 1.7 get? What about k-meleon or Forumzilla or some random mozdev project? Do I give them all equal consideration? Not a chance. They're not equals.

And yes, that Firefox, Thunderbird, and Camino (and SeaMonkey) projects are "more closely tied to", (more than that, they _are_ projects) probably does color my judgement. I've always had a softspot for the products we actually ship with our name on them and for some silly reason I think it's important that we ship good SeaMonkey, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Camino releases explicitely because we put our name on them. I put those prouducts above all the others in importance specifically because they have our name on them. I'm not speaking for the rest of drivers (many of whom represent other products entirely) but I don't see my bias for branded products going away any time soon. I'm not the least bit ashamed of that.