Thursday, November 18, 2004

Netscape aims beyond Firefox | CNET

Netscape aims beyond Firefox | CNET "Netscape on Wednesday confirmed an earlier report that it planned to release a new browser based on the Mozilla code. The America Online unit this week issued an invitation for people to sign up to test a limited prototype of the update, to be released Nov. 30.
'We are excited that, on Nov. 30, we will unveil many new features that will empower your Internet experience,' reads a note on the Netscape portal signed by the Netscape browser team. 'While other browsers have seen little improvement over recent years--except frequent patches for security leaks--we have consistently added new features to save you time and to make the most out of your time online. As a part of our next evolutionary step, we have developed this new browser prototype, which could change the way the world masters the Web.'"

This will be an interesting case study -- I don't see how Netscape can get/stay ahead of Firefox at this point. Nostalgia aside, what is the Netscape value-add?

I'm still amazed by how much of a lead Netscape threw away. I remember meetings with people from Netscape in 1996, when I was working in IBM's business development group. The IE team wanted to do business with IBM, and they were respectful and responsive. The Netscape team was arrogant and unresponsive, dismissing feature requirements that would have made Netscape more competitive with IE, e.g., inside Lotus Notes. It took the better part of a decade for Netscape to address those 1996 requirements -- I guess "Internet time" stood still for Netscape...
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