Netscape Navigator is the first commercial web browser developed by Netscape Communications, created by Marc Andreessen.
Netscape Navigator Browser History and Features
The investor named Jim Clark made a deal with Marc Andreessen, a good student who is willing to work in Silicon Valley to develop Netscape and create a new program and is successful with an Internet browser.
This new online program was called Mosaic. The purpose of the program was to make it easy to use the Internet on personal computers.
The company had only 3 employees in April 1994 but increased the number of its employees to 100 in the same year. Later, it reached around 2,500 employees in 3 years.
The company launched its first browser, Navigator, in October 1994.
Venture capital company Kleiner Perkins invested $5 million for 20 percent of the company. On August 8, 1995, Netscape had to set a price for 5 million shares to be offered to the public.
When Navigator’s share in the internet market is 80%, Microsoft offered Explorer for free. This was because Bill Gates was a personal mistake of not noticing the growth of the Internet.
Netscape’s revenue was sold to AOL because it declined for years, but the company has maintained its leadership in Internet technologies.
Jim Barksdale joined Netscape in January 1995.
Before joining Netscape, Jim Barksdale was the CEO of AT&T Wireless Services, resulting from the merger between AT&T and McCaw Cellular Communications.
Jim Barksdale was president and CEO of McCaw, a company worth $2 billion in 1993, from January 1992 to September 1994.
He spent 12 years as a CIO from McCaw with Federal Express Corporation from 1979 to 1983 and oversaw the development and implementation of the company’s worldwide systems.
He became vice president and CEO in 1983, causing the company to grow from 1 billion to 7.7 billion and open branches in more than 135 countries.
Under his leadership, FedEx became the company that won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Jim Clark founded and headed Silicon Graphics in 1994, before setting up Netscape with Marc Andreessen.
In March 1994, he left Silicon Graphics to work with a group of young programmers from the University of Illinois on Internet-Based Business Applications and Consumer Software.
This group of programmers created Mosaic, the first web page viewer whose discovery was the start of Netscape Communications.
Years before he founded Silicon Graphics, Clark was a successful professor at the prestigious Stanford University.
He graduated from Utah University in 1974 with a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He also did a Bachelor of Physics in 1970 and a Master of Physics Science from Louisiana State University in New Orleans.
Marc Andreessen founded Netscape with Jim Clark in April 1994 and served as president since September 1994.
Andreessen, who did not graduate from the University of Illinois, created the Mosaic browser and the Mosaic browser together with other students in the National Supercomputer Applications Center group.
Having a very intimate interface, Mozaik was bought by more than 2 million people a year thanks to its interface and free distribution.
Initial Browser Versions
The Communicator version was created by adding new features to read and send both email and news and messages.
A new feature, the page editor (Netscape Composer), was introduced in version 3 of the browser.
It was widely criticized for adding a large number of custom extensions to HTML, created without following the recommendations of the WWW Consortium, which are supporters of Internet standards.
This version was incorrect and the dynamic HTML implementation was lower than Internet Explorer 4.
The result of this competition resulted in the victory of Internet Explorer, which achieved a 98% share.
Open Source Software
In March 1998, the company created a free software license by publishing most of the Communicator code to attract the attention of the free software community, and the Internet browser market is running out.
The company appointed browser development engineers to assist the project, and the project was called Mozilla.
A year later, Netscape appointed some of its engineers to Netscape Communicator 4.5, since the Mozilla project could not be completed.
Later, Mozilla engineers decided to drop the Communicator code and start from scratch. However, there were plans to release version 5.0 based on 4.x code, but this idea was not enough. Therefore, all resources were used to work in version 6.0.
AOL, the new owner of Netscape, released its version 6 on November 14, 2000, based on Mozilla’s previous version code. But this version was slow, unstable, and visually bad.
With the release of Netscape 6.1 and 6.2 versions in 2001, stability issues were resolved. Later, in 2002, AOL released its 7 version.
The 7 version was more stable and noticeably faster since it was based on the core of Mozilla 1.0, it had several features such as integrated AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and Radio.
On other platforms that did not have the ability to install Internet Explorer such as Linux, Netscape maintained its position for a while.
Netscape 7.2 was released on August 17, 2004, but AOL stated that it does not continue with this browser.
Despite all this, the company released a new version of 8.0 based on its code to Mozilla Firefox in May 2005. This version also offered the Explorer engine to view specific pages.
Version 9.0 was released in October 2007, which allows integration of Firefox 2.5 Add-ons 6, among other functions.
When Was It Terminated?
Initially, the termination of browser support and development was announced on February 1, 2008, but was canceled by AOL on March 1, 2008.