Netscape Announces Cross-Platform Netscape 9 to be Developed In-House

Sunday February 4th, 2007

The official Netscape Blog has announced that Netscape 9 is under development. Like the current Netscape Browser 8, this release will presumably be based on Mozilla Firefox. According to the announcement, Netscape 9 will be a standalone browser (lacking components like a mail client or Web page editor) and will have tight integration with the website, which was relaunched as a Digg-style user-driven news and current events portal last year. A subsequent post revealed that Netscape 9 will be released simultaneously for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Netscape Browser 8 is only available for Windows.

The Netscape 9 announcement was cross-posted to The Netscape Unofficial FAQ by Netscape Champion Jay Garcia, who is in a position to know about Netscape's browser plans. In posts elsewhere on the site, Garcia has confirmed that Netscape once again employs its own programming staff (development of Netscape Browser 8 was outsourced to Mercurial Communications) and that the company is also considering resuming support for Netscape 7.2, the last version of Netscape to include features like Netscape Mail and Netscape Composer.

The Netscape 9 announcement includes a small screenshot (the menu bar indicates that it's based on Firefox 2) and states that the browser will feature Live Bookmarks (a Firefox feature that was dropped from Netscape Browser 8). It will also include the Netscape Friends' Activity Sidebar and the Netscape Sitemail Notifier, two extensions previously released for Firefox. Other extensions that integrate with will also be built in. New information about Netscape 9 will be released every Tuesday; the first such update was the announcement that the browser will be cross-platform, coupled with a screenshot of a stylish new FTP view.

Jason Calacanis, the former General Manager of Netscape who was responsible for the transformation of into a user-driven news site, has called Netscape 9 the "second half of the relaunch of Netscape that I planned". Garcia says that Netscape 9 will be released in the "next month or two".

Netscape started the Mozilla project in 1998. Netscape 6, based on what is now known as the Mozilla Application Suite (since discontinued and replaced by the community-driven SeaMonkey), was launched in 2000 with Netscape 7 following in 2002. In 2003, Netscape, now a division of AOL, laid off all the Netscape developers and ceased its day-to-day involvement with the Mozilla project. At the time, Netscape said that further browser releases were unlikely. In 2004, the company changed its mind and released Netscape 7.2, including a version of the Netscape Toolbar developed by the Mozdev Group.

Later that year, Netscape contracted Mecurial to create a new Netscape Browser prototype, which was developed into Netscape Browser 8. This version represented a new direction for Netscape, dropping the non-browser features like mail and only being released for Windows. It was also the first Netscape edition to be based on Firefox, though the Trident rendering engine used by Microsoft Internet Explorer was also embedded in a controversial move to maximise site compatibility. The browser also included anti-phishing tools, which have since become a must-have feature in all modern browsers. Netscape Browser 8.1, released in 2006, added features like improved support for feeds and a spyware scanner. The current release is version 8.1.2.

It remains to be seen whether Netscape 9 can increase the usage share of the browser pioneer, which has been in decline for a decade. Netscape's share has fallen from over 80 percent in the mid-Nineties to as low as less than one percent today.

#1 Oh wow.

by martrootamm

Sunday February 4th, 2007 6:01 PM

See Subj.

#2 Uhm....

by baka_toroi

Sunday February 4th, 2007 8:11 PM

Why do they bother? Is there ONE single reason we should migrate to Netscape? Quite the opposite, I believe.

#3 Joke.

by kerz

Sunday February 4th, 2007 8:37 PM

What a joke.'s gone through 6 million different owners, and every single one of them has had no idea how to make a browser. With these fancy new extensions to work with their crappy news site that no one visits, I don't see that changing any time soon.


#4 Netscape... why??

by superdood

Sunday February 4th, 2007 10:17 PM

What... isn't the current Netscape just Firefox with added AOL junk?

#5 And the farce continues!

by arnoudb

Monday February 5th, 2007 4:04 AM

I wonder when they're finally gonna give up. Oh well let them spend a load of money on this and hopefully they'll soon be as bankrupt as SCO.

#6 Netscape became AOL's bitch

by jabcreations

Monday February 5th, 2007 9:51 AM

Netscape has been AOL's bitch since they took over. AOL is bloatware and naturally so will anything they get their hands on. At least with open source the community has a general (though not specific) idea of what to do with Firefox. Big companies just have no clue how to do anything right and it's not because their big.

#7 Why?

by Andrew_T

Monday February 5th, 2007 10:26 AM

I was a Netscape fan from the beginning through July 2003, but what has happened to the brand post-mortem is nothing short of ridiculous.

Is there ANYONE on earth who cares at all about this, aside than the man mentioned in the second paragraph?

#9 Re: Why?

by roseman

Monday February 5th, 2007 11:28 AM

Yes, many of us care, even if we use Mozilla products instead.

"Hey, at least it's not a microsoft product" :)

#8 RE: Why?

by Sailfish

Monday February 5th, 2007 11:04 AM

"Is there ANYONE on earth who cares about this..."


#10 Re: RE: Why?

by baka_toroi

Monday February 5th, 2007 7:26 PM

Yes, Jay Garcia has already been mentioned. Anyone else?

(BTW, if you care, tell us why. Maybe we're missing something)

#11 Re: Re: RE: Why?

by gurnaik

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 1:59 AM

Competition between different products is always good. Besides that it'll help keep the Internet a vendor-neutral platform, with all the benefits that brings.

#12 Re: Re: RE: Why?

by BenoitRen

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 4:52 AM

He works there, so of course he cares.

#17 Re: Re: RE: Why?

by Sailfish

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 9:37 PM

Because it's another browser that uses the gecko rendering engine, Flock is another and then there's SeaMonkey. All the rest is just UI and add-ons. Together these all represent inroads into breaking the non-standards compliant IE stranglehold. For most of the Firefox-only fanboys, I wouldn't expect them to understand this, though.

#25 Re: Re: Re: RE: Why?

by arielb

Monday March 19th, 2007 6:11 PM

I care about Flock. It is actually an interesting take on firefox that's useful and innovative. They may win firefox and other web savvy users. But Netscape just doesn't get it at all.

#21 Re: RE: Why?

by Kovu

Thursday February 8th, 2007 6:46 PM

Seconded. The Netscape brand should go on. They actually have developers inhouse again. W00t.

#13 RE: Why?

by jailbird

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 7:37 AM

Actually, I use Netscape 8 on my wife's machine. Why? Because I can have it set to Firefox mode for most of her browsing, yet force it over to IE mode for her * pages that she uses that WANT IE.

Before Netscape 8 I tried the old "Use this for everything, use this for only certain pages." As you all can guess, she ended up using IE for everything, since in her mind it worked everywhere she wanted to go, so she'd "forget" to switch.

So Netscape 8 might not be "real" Firefox, but for what she needs, it fits the bill perfectly. It's also handy for people in companies whose intranet sites still require IE.

#14 Re: RE: Why?

by baka_toroi

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 9:20 AM

That's why I have the IE Tab extension on Firefox. I really can't see why a new Gecko-based browser has to be developed, there's plenty of 'em.

#15 based on Mozilla Firefox? Where is it oficcially?

by meorero

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 9:32 AM

It's written: "Like the current Netscape Browser 8, this release will presumably be based on Mozilla Firefox"

Do you know - Is there any official notice from Netscape / AOL that the Netscape Browser 8 is based on Mozilla Firefox?


#16 Netscape 9 article:

by roseman

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 10:24 AM

BetaNews has an article on this:

#18 Will Netscape 9 still use Trident, too?

by mozkeith

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 10:40 PM

meorero: Yes:

Here's a question: will Netscape 9 also have this dual-rendering engine monstrosity?

Sorry, jailbird, I concede your valid use case, but the lack of control given to content authors/server maintainers on which rendering engine is chosen, and how unintuitive it is to know which engine is being used or how to change it, led to my company's decision not to support the browser for our browser-based products. For all intents and purposes, I think baka_toroi's suggestion of using the IE Tab extension would be a better solution.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

#19 Re: Will Netscape 9 still use Trident, too?

by mozkeith

Tuesday February 6th, 2007 10:41 PM

Oops, sorry, that URL was supposed to be this:

#20 I think it's a good thing for Netscape and Mozilla

by JuggerNaut

Wednesday February 7th, 2007 7:45 PM

Netscape is the reason Mozilla exists and it would be great to see Netscape/Mozilla make a great comeback in user-share of web browsing. I'm looking forward to Netscape 9 myself. I do hope that Netscape will become radical with their own flavor web browser without all the AOL type of fluff.

#22 seeing a new browser is always interesting ..

by madman66

Wednesday February 14th, 2007 2:00 AM

I think everyone interested in the Internet and webtech is interested in seeing a new browser .. Netscape still has a name for many of the old time users. Every new feature, new skin, etc.. is interesting and broadens the spectrum. Having said that, I don't use Netscape 8. However v9 seems already more interesting, if they can avoid to much bloatware ..

Also less and less sites are IE only. A great success achieved by mozilla's browsers. The IE7 release was also dissapointing for which I am gratefull, as it will keep many on firefox and attract more. There needs to be a 50/50 market share at least between MS and all others ..

"Gadgets & Tech Netscape 9 will be the first major browser to automatically correct common typos entered in the location bar. Your browser spell-checks everything else you type, so why not URLs?"

#23 Trident on Linux...

by nicodoggie

Wednesday February 21st, 2007 11:46 PM

Well, if they still plan to do the dual rendering engine thing, that might be something for accessing IE only content from Linux. Since the IE Tabs extension needs an actual installation of IE on a machine, since there is no such thing on Linux, this might be a plus for trying to find IE only content on the Internet or for developers who need to test for cross-browser compatibility.

#24 Can anyone figure out what the heck they want?

by tseelee

Monday February 26th, 2007 9:12 AM

Do they themselves even know?

#26 Features I'd like

by oldmaven

Saturday April 21st, 2007 5:15 AM

I'm not quite sure why I use NS8 when I also have Firefox, except that i like it.

I Do know why I still use NS 7 as my default browser: it has the best "Send Page" feature -- one click and I can send the page, which I need to do a lot. Firefox has only Send Link, which does you no good if the link expires; NS 8 has a "Send Page" that (last I checked) actually just sends links. IE, like most MS stuff, adds an extra keystroke: first "Send" then select from a menu; it has other problems, too. But more and more sites don't work well with NS7, so it will have to go, soon.

I'd love a browser with macros, especially if they could be put on the toolbar.

#27 Re: Features I'd like

by warpgiga

Tuesday April 24th, 2007 5:26 AM

There exist various macro addons for firefox

#28 Why so negative?

by sindre

Sunday November 4th, 2007 6:41 PM

Without Netscape or AOL, Mozilla and Firefox would not exist. Netscape 9 is better than Firefox I think.

#29 Both

by michaelcole

Friday March 14th, 2008 6:37 AM

There is some feature that can still make edge between Mozilla Firefox and Netscape Netscape is actually load pages as they are not as they load faster

cheers Mike - Payment Processing Forums

#30 Netscape vs. FF?

by PFPforum

Sunday April 27th, 2008 8:51 AM

Is there really any competition, my stats are slightly more hits from FF than IE, with the REST OF THE BROWSERS incl opera accounting for less than 9% of clicks at and

#31 Firefox & IE dominance

by donkhard

Friday October 3rd, 2008 3:01 PM

I'm actually blown away to learn that anyone is still using Netscape. This was the first browser I used back with my dial-up connection. The majority of our hits to and are, like PFP's, mainly coming from Firefox & IE with only a negligible percentage coming from the little off-brand and/or dinosaur browsers.

#40 Visitor Browser Stats

by robbaker

Tuesday June 23rd, 2009 11:50 PM

Our statistics at show how our visitors are using the following browsers: MSIE: 56.1% Firefox: 35.8% GChrome: 2.1% Netscape: less than .1%