MozillaZine

Our Role In Netscape's Future...

Tuesday September 15th, 1998

Jason Kersey writes in with an interesting question for those involved in the Mozilla effort. Read on.

"You saw the features I talked about for 4.5, but now Netscape has posted a press release and has kicked off 'project turbo' which is aimed at win nt/9x users and getting Netscape back into their lives via defaulting all internet related things like browsing & email to Netscape& Netcenter. What I was wondering is, is this going to continue in 5.0 and are we going to have to do it? In my eyes, Navigator is becoming a tool just to get to Netcenter to make ad money for Netscape. Now that we are helping with the developement, are we contributing to Netscape's ad revenue also buy making sure all the 'smartbrowsing' and other stuff works? What do you think?"


#5 Re:Our Role In Netscape's Future...

by Joel Caris <joel_caris@iname.com>

Tuesday September 15th, 1998 8:14 PM

You are replying to this message

Jason,

You raised some interesting questions. And as said before, Netscape certainly is going to try to make money off the browser. Otherwise, Netscape makes no money and goes out of business. The browser is its saving grace, and the portal is simply part of that. While some may not like it, integration with the portal is incredibly important to Netscape's success.

Now, I don't mind the integration. I actually use Netcenter and My Netscape, because I enjoy reading news on the web, and that's a good place to start. I then jump off onto other sites--especially technology sites and other ones like MozillaZine. I like that I can just click the My Netscape button and get taken there.

I also enjoy the Internet Keywords and have found What's Related to be occasionally helpful, though I admit it needs a lot of improvement and does not work well with smaller, less-visited sites. Net Search I also use simply because I don't have any favorite search engine--they all produce results that I am almost never looking for.

Yet, the key to all of this is that Netscape offers you choice. You can turn off What's Related and Internet Keywords. I have PR2 and you don't have to choose Netscape search or defaulting to Netscape instead of IE. It is simply a choice. Of course, I leave on those defaults because I want them and I certainly would rather be taken to Netscape's search than Microsoft if those are my only choices.

Finally, I would like to address the issue you brought up on the mail features in Mozilla. First of all, the feature looks wonderful! Just looking at that screen shot, I was incredibly impressed. That is a feature that could prove to be incredibly helpful in some regards. However, I did not fully understand the feature. It seems that you would be able to access POP accounts straight through your browser--the email being turned into HTML documents similar to what you get through WebMail or Hotmail. If this is flat out wrong--then please let me know.

Assuming I am right, though, I'm not sure that Webmail is automatically the interface. It could be that they were simply using Webmail for that screen shot. If they do use the Webmail design for the interface, though, then I don't think it's that bad of a deal. If the worst Netscape does is stick a banner ad onto your email, then I can deal with that. Especially considering I once again have CHOICE--the choice to switch over to Messenger and view my mail in that without the ads. And maybe I would and maybe I wouldn't considering how the interface worked and how long it took to pull up mail.

But all this boils down to Netscape leveraging the browser to make money through its site. Once again, I feel this is something that is very important for Netscape to do. For if the site is successful, then the enterprise software is more successful and the browser is more successful. Yet if the site is not successful, then it hurts the browser and the enterprise software. Then eventually Netscape will go out of business and you will be left with IE as your only choice for a full-featured browser. Not a pretty picture.

Again, thanks Jason for bringing up the issues. I hope I didn't ramble too much with this post.

Joel Caris

P.S. Haven't noticed the ads on What's Related. Of course, I don't use it much. What do they look like, or what is the name of the link?