Netscape Navigator was a web browser that was developed by the
Netscape Communications Corporation. Netscape Navigator was originally
released on the 15th of December, 1994, and from 1994-1996, Netscape
Navigator became the most popular browser for the Windows platform.
Netscape Navigator is widely accepted as the most technically advanced
web browser in the mid-1990's; and invented the use of many new
The Netscape Navigator browser was developed from 1994 to 1998;
but it's legacy has continued to the present day (2014). The 'code
name' for the Netscape Navigator software was: Mozilla. When the
Netscape Communications Corporation was purchased in 1998 - by AOL
- the code of Netscape Navigator was made open source, and released
under the Netscape Public License. The 'Mozilla project' was founded
to continue the development of the Netscape Navigator; the Firefox
browser is one of the descendants of Netscape Navigator.
Netscape's creation is intertwined with the Mosaic web browser:
Mosaic was released in 1993, and is the browser acclaimed for popularising
the World Wide Web. Mosaic was developed by a team of students from
the University of Illinois, United States. In 1994, due to the popularity
of Mosaic, the developers of Mosaic moved to California and created
the Mosaic Communications Corporation. Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark
were the founders of the Mosaic Communications Corporation.
The first web browser developed by the Mosaic Communications Corporation
was named: Mosaic Netscape 0.9. The browser was released in 1994,
and was renamed to Netscape Navigator in late 1994; to avoid a avoid
a trademark issue over the use of the word Mosaic. Although the
browser was originally named Mosaic Netscape 0.9, and was developed
by software engineers, like Louis
Montulli - who developed the original NCSA Mosaic browser -
Netscape Navigator did not contain any code found in the NCSA Mosaic
browser. In 1995, the Mosaic Communications Corporation was renamed
to Netscape Communications Corporation; to signify that Netscape
was a distinct browser and company.
The years, 1994-1995, are described as the "age of Netscape";
the browser dominated the World Wide Web landscape, but, it was
not to last. Microsoft released Windows 95 in 1995, and their new
web browser, named: Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer was packaged
with Windows 95; this gave Internet Explorer a distinct advantage
over Netscape Navigator: which generally had to be purchased from
a store. From 1995-1997, Netscape and Microsoft participated in
a 'browser war': versions of each browser were continually released
with new features. Eventually, Microsoft's extra funding told, and
by 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation experienced financial
difficulties and was purchased by America Online (AOL).
AOL continued to develop a browser named 'Netscape'; but, with
little success, and, by 2003, AOL disbanded the marketing and development
of Netscape products.
However, the 'fall-out' from the 'browser war' did not conclude
in 1998; the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust
case named: United States v. Microsoft Corporation 253 F.3d 34.
This antitrust case claimed that Microsoft created a monopoly when
it packaged Internet Explorer with it's Windows operating system.
The case was settled in 2001; with some critics stating that Microsoft
simple received a 'slap on the wrist'.