The browser that helped kick-start the commercial web is to cease development because of lack of users. The software major aol, which owns the browser now, will cease supporting after February 1. Users will not receive security or software updates after that date.
In the mid-1990s, the browser was used by more than 90 per cent surfers, but numbers have slipped to just 0.6 per cent with web users now preferring Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. "While internal groups within aol have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Internet Explorer," aol's representative Tom Drapeau said.
The demise of Navigator was hastened in 2003 when aol, which bought Netscape in 1998, made redundant most of the staff working on new versions of the browser. Many of the staff moved to the Mozilla Foundation which develops the popular Firefox browser. "We feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox," Drapeau said.
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