Netscape’s Contribution, Ten Years Later

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Tuesday marked the ten-year anniversary of the beginning of the greatest investment boom in history. On August 9, 1995, Netscape issued its initial public stock offering, which is widely regarded as the spark that set off the stock boom of the late 90’s and set the stage for today’s tech world.

A lot has happened since then. Fortunes were made, lost at the mid-point and redistributed again through today’s period of massive Internet growth. Many of the largest players a decade ago have vanished while others have survived and flourished.

Netscape is among the originals that survived, though often by the skin of its teeth. In the summer of 1995, if you were one of the growing numbers of people using the Internet, chances are you were surfing on a Netscape browser. Netscape held an 80%+ market share of the browser market but that changed very quickly in late August 1995 when Microsoft released a version of Windows95 with a bundled Internet Explorer.

In November 1998, AOL purchased Netscape for $4.3billion worth of stock, which due to the rapid inflation of stock prices at the time, was worth almost $9billion when the sale closed months later. AOL would go onto purchase the Time Warner publishing empire in January 2000 for approximately $160billion worth of stock transfers, two months before the beginning of the tech-stock meltdown and two months after Netscape released its disastrous 6.0 upgrade. Netscape was suddenly in a very bad spot.

For several years, Netscape appeared to be neglected though it provided the basic browser for AOL users. Many of today’s non-AOL users relate to it as a Google-fed information portal, more of a search tool than a browser maker. In the background however, a team working on the original Mozilla browser technology that Netscape released in open-source format in 1998, developed the Firefox browser that was being fostered by AOL. Working on the AOL payroll until 2003 when they were offered a $2million donation as polite severance, the Mozilla Foundation released the highly popular FireFox in the autumn of 2004. It quickly grew in popularity and is now considered a common alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Netscape has had a long and storied corporate history surviving as a brand name against the stiffest competition where literally thousands of others failed. Ten years is a long time in an industry that measures a generation in 18 – 24 month spans.

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. http://www.stepforth.com/ Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198

Netscape’s Contribution, Ten Years Later
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About Jim Hedger
Jim Hedger works with Metamend Search Engine Marketing as a SEO Consultant, lead copywriter and head blog writer. Jim has been involved in the SEO field since the days of the dinosaurs and felt he had lost a personal friend when Disney went "ol' Yeller" on Infoseek. Over the course of his career, Jim has gotten drunk with Jeeves the Butler, tossed sticks to that sock-puppet dog from Pets.com and come out of a staring contest with Googlebot confidently declaring a tie. When not traveling between conferences, Jim lives with a perpetually annoyed cat named Hypertext in the Pacific techno-outport of Victoria British Columbia. WebProNews Writer
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