You could easily argue that the browser war between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer has been over for quite a while, but if there was ever any doubt, it can be put to rest. Yesterday, AOL announced that as of 1 February 2008, Netscape Navigator will be officially dead.
Back in 1995, when I first started browsing the internet on a daily basis, Netscape Navigator was my browser of choice. It wasn’t until late in high school that I started to prefer Internet Explorer (which was a good browser at the time, as hard as that may be to believe), and since switching away, I have never seriously used Netscape for web browsing.
From time to time, I fondly recall the afternoons I spent after class in the computer lab at my high school. A handful of us had discovered GeoCities and we would spend hours building web pages. Netscape Navigator 3 Gold came with a WYSIWYG editor, and I loved how quickly and easily I could work on my website.
No matter how much time had passed since I last used it, I still considered Netscape one of the “Big 5” browsers (the others being Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari). Being a web designer, I dislike the fact that there are so many browsers out there, because they all render pages slightly differently. The death of Netscape is a boon to my industry, but it still makes me a little sad.
On BoingBoing’s tribute to Netscape, one user very accurately summed up how many of us feel: “This is like reading the obit about someone you chummed around with in high school but lost track of when you went to univ.”
Well Netscape Navigator, 13 years after I first started using you, I’m saying goodbye forever. I can’t say that I’ll miss you, but I’ll always fondly remember you.0 People like this. Be the first!