Thursday, January 31, 2008

Requiem For A Browser

So, in 2004 the government canceled the Comanche Helicopter Program, which resulted in my scrambling about for a job and not moving into a pastel townhouse in Manhattan Beach. Say what you like about LA, but it will have vastly more warning than Manhattan Island when Greenland injects oodles of water into the North Atlantic.

One of my options was product management for the Netscape Browser, at that (and this) point a Firefox derivative desultorily supported by AOL Time Warner. It would have meant moving to Columbus and trying to restart the browser wars with infinitesimal corporate backing and while I do select massive enemies, I don't choose to lose. Anyway, they've decided to kill it.

[AOL] released Netscape 7.2 Web browser developed by Time Warner's team and not Netscape staff.

As of December 2006, Netscape's market share was a pathetic 0.2 per cent penetration. The end was imminent.

This December, AOL announced that on February 1, 2008 it would drop support for the Netscape Web browser and would no longer develop new releases. This week, it was announced it Netscape's end would come after a month.
Still, if I'd had 0.2 %market share -- which I think I could have managed -- and still hung on to my job for another 15 months, I really feel I could have explored Columbus to its fullest. There was supposed to be a bar there that had a string quartet playing, which fascinated me. Here in New York? No violins in bars. In Boston, there was violence in bars, but it wasn't the same.

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