"The browser is a crown jewel. However, six months from now, you won't consider Netscape to be a browser company," said Netscape President Jim Bankoff in a recent interview. In short, Netscape is throwing in the towel and will no longer compete with Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the browser wars. IE wins.
Jim Bankoff could have announced new technologies being developed for the
Netscape browser -- if Netscape was developing any. He could have talked about
a new, stable version of the product that's badly needed, a version that
doesn't crash every time it hits a little Flash animation, some poorly-written
going to release such a product.
Instead he babbled on about how Netscape is going to concentrate on building
portal sites and subscription-based services for the AOL Time Warner empire.
Big, costly sites that depend on advertising revenue are DEAD. You can make a
living from a subscription-based service if you're running a porn site or a
really specialized niche site, but no one has been able to apply that business
model to any other type of mass market site. It's been tried, and they've died.
Would someone please inform Jim that 1996 happened 5 years ago?
Yes Jim, you can't make money selling a browser when Microsoft gives one away
for free with their OS. However, you CAN depend on the fact that most people
never figure out how to change their default homepage, you CAN depend on the
fact that any bookmarks you ship with your browser are going to still be in
that browser five years later, and you CAN depend on the fact that if you ship
buggy software that sooner or later people will start using something else.