Netscape Navigator was a proprietary web browser. It was the flagship product of the Netscape Communications Corp and was the dominant web browser in terms of usage share in the 1990s, but by 2002 its usage had almost disappeared. This was primarily due to the increased usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser software, and partly because the Netscape Corporation (later purchased by AOL) did not sustain Netscape Navigator’s technical innovation after the late 1990s.
The business demise of Netscape was a central premise of Microsoft’s antitrust trial, wherein the Court ruled that Microsoft Corporation’s bundling of Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system was a monopolistic and illegal business practice. The decision came too late for Netscape, however, as Internet Explorer had by then become the dominant web browser in Windows.
The Netscape Navigator web browser was succeeded by Netscape Communicator. Netscape Communicator’s 4.x source code was the base for the Netscape-developed Mozilla Application Suite, which was later renamed SeaMonkey. Netscape’s Mozilla Suite also served as the base for a browser-only spinoff called Mozilla Firefox and Netscape versions 6 through 9.
AOL stopped development of Netscape Navigator on 28 December 2007, but continued supporting the web browser with security updates until 1 March 2008. AOL allows downloading of archived versions of the Netscape Navigator web browser family. AOL maintains the Netscape website as an Internet portal
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