Today's launch of the final release of Netscape's first open-source browser
version seems to have passed with hardly a murmur from the press.
There was a time, just a few short years ago, when a new version of Netscape
was big news and its FTP sites were stretched to breaking point by millions
of eager web users queuing to download the beast.
Unfortunately those days are long gone -- and Netscape's former glory days
are well and truly over. From its position as number one with an almost
100 percent marketshare, Netscape has fallen to become just an also-ran,
dwelling in the shadow of the mighty Internet Explorer from Microsoft.
Personally I've always had a soft-spot for Netscape and, despite its quirks
and problems, still use it as my primary browser -- resorting to IE only when
I encounter a site built by someone who thinks that Microsoft's many extensions
and additions to the standards are Net-law.
I also must wonder why, when there is a perfectly good alternative, so many
people expose themselves to the seemingly endless stream of viruses and
trojans which are designed specifically to attack Microsoft's surfing and
email products. Kind of reminds me of that "Ow! quit it.... Ow! quit it"
piece from The Simpsons TV series eh?
Given that so many people complain so long and hard about Microsoft's dominance,
surely now is the time to fight back and give Netscape 6 a try -- however I suspect
that today's launch won't see Netscape increase its 22 percent of the browser
market and we'll see that number continue to shrink.
I still find it amazing that so few professional web designers seem to test their
sites with Netscape before going live. After all, 22 percent of the market means
that at least one in every five visitors will be a Netscape user.
Building a site that doesn't work properly (or in some cases "at all") with
Netscape is immediately going to reduce the effectiveness of any website by
20 percent. Chances are that those same sites are spending good money to
try and grow their audience and they'd feel that a 20 percent increase in traffic
would be a great result from their advertising and promotion. Go figure!
Are We Having Fun Yet?
So now that the Southern Cross Cable has been commissioned -- has anyone
noticed any improvement in their web-surfing experience?
Are those MP3s downloading any faster?
Share your opinions and experiences by
having your say.
What's On Offer This e-Christmas?
Okay, I've had a handful of responses to this request for pointers to good
local e-commerce sites where we can buy our Christmas gifts -- but I need
a whole lot more.
Come on folks -- rattle your dags!
Yes, I know the first edition of the weekly has yet to appear -- but I'm
still working on it.
Hopefully (if current leads pan out) it will include a very interesting expose'
into the astoundingly bad behaviour of a group of local "new economy" company
directors (some of who are also on the board of a public company). Just how
competent and ethical are the managers of some of our hi-tech public companies?
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