CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

Wednesday October 6th, 1999

A number of people sent in links to this news of Communicator 5.0's "delay" at CNet.

According to CNet's Paul Festa, who seems unable or unwilling to write a positive Netscape piece, "Netscape is far behind its main browser competitor, Microsoft, in two areas where it once led: technology and market share. Although it commanded about 80 percent of the desktop browser market just a few years ago, Netscape is now down to a minority position." Paul goes on to cite anonymous sources who provided him with information on XUL and a new email/IM hybrid scheme.

#1 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by masri

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:13 PM

Oh well, at least CNET didn't just come out and say, "Netscape sucks," which is what they usually do. Their position sounded a bit softer this time.

Of course, why should we even care what CNET has to say anyway? The only time I ever read their articles anymore is when I see a link to them from another website. IMHO, CNET's articles are, at best, inflamatory to get more readers, which leads to more ad revenue. At worst, they could be allowing their association with Microsoft sway their journalistic integrity.

Either way, I say, screw 'em. Communicator is shaping up to be an absolutely beautiful product. Every developer working on this project should be proud of themselves. Keep up the good work!

- Adam

#3 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by masri

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:16 PM

Oh yeah, one other thing... Hasn't December been the beta release date for as long as I can remember? How is and Netscape "late?" I didn't understand that part. Maybe someone can enlighten me... :)

- Adam

#16 No

by Tekhir

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 8:18 PM

At the beginning o fthe year it was before summer. A month or two later it was in summer. And now it by the end of the year.

I don't really mind too much because I use the nightly builds a lot of the time. I'm guessing within a month i'll be using them more than Netscape 4.7 or whatever release they have by then.

#2 I don't get it...

by havoc

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:14 PM

Why does this guy quote anonymous sources, which are not correct (on the point of IM and mail) when everything that mozilla is and does can be followed right at Has he never heard of downloading a nightly build? Reading newsgroups?

Some people...

#4 I don't get it...

by Ben_Goodger

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:28 PM

download a nightly build? and do some REAL research for once instead of relying on everyone else to do it for him? obviously you think our Mr Festa is something other than what he is, a true journalist ;)

#7 new email/IM hybrid scheme?

by Anon

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:56 PM

Sounds like he got his sources mixed up..sounds like some "integration scheme" Microsoft would of thought up to get people to use it's MSN Messenger. Haven't MS already announced that MSN Messenger is going to be linked with Hotmail, Outlook, etc.? Just like they have "integrated" Hotmail and Outlook.

Communicator already has IM capabilities it's the Cntrl 9 button. :)

#9 Re: new email/IM hybrid scheme?

by sdm

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:25 PM

Well, fortunately or unfortunately, Netscape/AOL can add whatever feature they like to the finished product. So they very well may be adding said functionality behind closed doors, or, atleast prototyping it.

#12 Unlikely

by badben

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:57 PM

Although that is indeed possible, I don't think so. 1. IM is an always-running app (at least during online time). Messengers (or that of any other sophistcated MUA) footprint is too big for that. 2. Paul states "Netscape has chosen...". As I see NS/AOL relations, AOL would have implemented that or would have NS directed to do so.

#15 Scary...

by havoc

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 4:18 PM

... how you can seem to read my mind :-)

#21 No! No!

by ess

Thursday October 7th, 1999 11:15 AM

If he downloads a nightly build, or even a milestone release, all we'll hear about is how "Netscape 5.0" is "buggy and slow."

That said, I didn't find this article particularly negative. Just dippy.

#5 CNET's in bed with Microsoft

by Anon

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:49 PM

Doesn't microsoft a sponsor of CNET ?

I think they are..

Chief Archer

#6 Words I cannot say

by Anon

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 1:50 PM

Sorry about the above post.. Doesn't Microsoft Sponsor CNET?

Yodda I am not.

Chief Archer

#10 CNET's in bed with Microsoft

by mstearne

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:42 PM

Actually, all the Tech News for Netcenter comes from which is part of CNET. And I think that Paul Allen is an investor in CNET, I don't know about MS. I don't think MS is sleeping with CNET anymore than AOL/Netscape is. I think this is just one "journalist's" opinion.

#8 A few thoughts on irony

by abram

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:18 PM

Remember when irony was something you discussed in literature class? Sadly, ever since it became the subject of a top 40 song, the word "ironic" has become clich├ęd and misused. A prime example is found in this article:

"Ironically, a technology that should save browser makers time in the future has helped cause Netscape to be late this time around."

No, Mr. Festa, this is not an irony. It is a well accepted part of software development (and other parts of life) that taking the time to develop a solid, re-usable framework will save you time in the end. The initial investment in time results in much greater flexibility afterwards. What is happening here is not ironic; it is a case of cause and effect. I applaud the Mozilla developers for taking the time to create a rich, feature complete, extensible application.

Mr. Festa, or any of us, would have a right to criticize Netscape and the Mozilla project if it were happening behind closed doors. But Mozilla is open. If any of us have any questions about the current state of its development, all that we need to do is download the latest build. Having used Mozilla (on both Linux and Windows), I can see the amount of effort that has gone into it, and I can see the quality product that has resulted. Mr. Festa should have done the same; at the very least it would have answered some of his questions.


by badben

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:47 PM

I'm starting to thin, that newssites not giving readers the opportunity to comment articles are either technically outdated or unwilling to stand behind their "news".

#17 Other reasons...

by leafdigital

Thursday October 7th, 1999 4:13 AM

Most news sites I've seen that *do* allow people the chance to respond, tend to get responses only from the "vocal minority". Usually, it works out as eighteen million people giving the same ill-thought-out and poorly-spelled reasoning why Microsoft sucks. It is not worth anybody's time to trawl through these in the hope of finding something interesting or sensible.

(Not to say that there isn't well-thought out and correctly-spelled reasoning for the same anti-Microsoft premise; but what you get on those sites ain't it.)

BBC News has a quite nice "talking point" facility, in which they post only selected views (they also have yes/no votes). Of course, that editing is subject to accusations of censorship, but it does increase the chance of having a few opinions up that are worth reading / laughing at. Unfortunately they don't do this for every news article, only a few selected items each day...



by badben

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 2:58 PM

I'm starting to thin, that newssites not giving readers the opportunity to comment articles are either technically outdated or unwilling to stand behind their "news".

#14 doublepost

by badben

Wednesday October 6th, 1999 3:01 PM

Oh I hate these doubleposts :-)

#18 Well... they're right, unfortunately

by Anon

Thursday October 7th, 1999 5:37 AM

I am not even waiting on N5 anytime soon, the war is unfortunately over... Netscape is the OS/2 of our time. This pisses me off like you wouldn't even believe, because in 2-3 years we will be stuck with Internet Exploiter...

#19 Well... they're right, unfortunately

by Anon

Thursday October 7th, 1999 5:49 AM

Hmmm... I don't know. I recently had to install Netscape for someone that uses Windows98... Apparantly, all of the MS internet 'tools' didn't work anymore. And since IE5 is 'so tightly' integrated with the OS, I couldn't just reinstall it. So now they have all those megabytes for a browser suite that doesn't wanna work! Somehow, I don't think this is the future that everybody wants (as MS always says)...

#20 The war is far from over...

by Anon

Thursday October 7th, 1999 8:46 AM

MS has won a major battle, but there are several things that will keep Mozilla/Netscape as a major platform, and may eventually bring it back to domination:

1/ The AOL factor. Eventually AOL will switch from IE to a Mozilla-based browser. This will give massive amounts of market share to Mozilla.

2/ The Linux factor. Linux will continue to grow. Nobody can say how much of the mainstream market Linux will get, but 10% seems reasonable and you can bet that 99% of those will use Netscape/Mozilla.

3/ The Embedded market. Microsoft is trying, but they aren't really doing all that well here. Set-top boxes and palm-tops will become more popular and, although a fair number will use Wince/IE, most will be something else. All the 'something else's will use Mozilla/Gecko.

4/ Vertical markets and Intranets. As long as Mozilla is large enough that content providors must cater to it, vertical market developers and corporate Intranets will be able to choose between IE and Netscape. A significant number will base that decision on technical grounds. As long as Mozilla is technically superior, it will get a good share of this market.

#22 Dud

by Kovu

Thursday October 7th, 1999 12:23 PM

Dud. Yeah, AOL is going to just roll over for Microsoft. Whatever.

#23 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by thelem

Thursday October 7th, 1999 3:42 PM

It seems delayed to me at the moment, but not significantly. Remember the milestones have all been moved back at least once and M11 was meant to have come out 10 days ago.

#24 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by Kovu

Thursday October 7th, 1999 4:06 PM

Aren't the M dates for feature freeze? I.e., 11 days ago they stopped adding to M11 and started fixing it and once it's fixed, it comes out. At least that was my impression. Anyway, they're saying beta in December now, and that's about a month or two back from what it was, and the original beta schedule was in summer. Still, this browser will be well worth the wait for the compliance, flash panel, and XUL interfaces alone. IE will look utterly featureless compared to Navigator.

#25 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by Anon

Thursday October 7th, 1999 5:52 PM

Y'all know that MS will release IE 6 the instant Mozilla / Netscape 5 is released. Even if it is just IE 5 with more glitter (how much can they add?)

#26 CNet On Communicator 5.0 Delay

by Tekhir

Thursday October 7th, 1999 6:52 PM

Well they got that Tasman engine for Mac which will be ported to Windows someday. So you're probably right.

#28 Two Dates

by thelem

Friday October 8th, 1999 4:31 AM

There are two dates for the Milestone releases. One for 'feature complete', the other for the release. I was talking about the release date. Not sure of the url of the list and I am on an NT4/16MB/ActiveDesktop machine so I can't really check, but search for por-draft on


#27 CNET really give me the s**ts

by danielhill

Thursday October 7th, 1999 8:20 PM

As I posted in another talkback article here, CNet and the rest of the media have a serious grudge against the Mozilla project. This sounds a bit like the John Laws and the banks story here in Australia, but in reverse.

At first CNet were positive about Mozilla, then I guess Microsoft paid them off (I notice heaps of MS ads on their site) and CNet changed their tune.

Well CNet, Wired and ZDNet, you can all get f*cked. I'll be getting my tech news from an impartial source: The Register And they are first anyway :)