Netscape Communicator

The Netscape Communicator, first available in 1996 to the public as a beta, the successor of the Netscape Navigator 3.x, one of the first software packages that a web browser, WYSIWYG HTML editor ( the gold version ) as well as a mail and news was client contained. After the so-called browser war Netscape tried a fresh start, which was made through the acquisition of the company by AOL in November 1998 in question with the Netscape Communicator 4.5 in October 1998. After 1998, when Netscape Corporation, the source code of Netscape Communicator was released, developed on the basis of the Mozilla Application Suite, whose version 1.0 was released on June 5, 2002. With the latest stable version 1.7.13 of the Mozilla suite in April 2006, the Mozilla Foundation has set the official development in favor of the Firefox web browser and email program Thunderbird. The project for the Internet suite is continued until today by an independent programmer group called SeaMonkey.


A name change was necessary in 1996 because Netscape Communications Corporation wanted to distinguish the new version from the old, to express that the Navigator, the browser part, should only be a part of this new complete internet suite. Due to the version sequence, " 4.x", again continuity should be expressed, after all, also set Netscape Communicator completely on the old Navigator predecessor versions on (the name "Navigator" incidentally remained for the so-called " stand-alone" browser exist, thus, a version that was shipped with the browser part).

In June 1997, Netscape Communicator published in its final version. Netscape had great hopes in his suite, but at the same time lagged a little behind. The Microsoft released Internet Explorer had in fact already built at that time, the implications for the future web technologies. Although Netscape Communicator brought, for example, improved CSS support, but was far from the already former ways.

In version 4.0, fast showed teething, so that Netscape Corp.. repeatedly had to rework with updates. Until October 1998, the release level has been reached 4:08.

In January 1998, announced Netscape Corp.. , That all future versions of their browser software would be available free of charge. At the same time an open source project was announced, which was the old internal code name of Netscape's Mozilla. This project should take care of the release of the new Netscape Communicator 5.0.

In October 1998, with the publication of the last 4.0x version of Netscape Communicator, Netscape Corp. brought. a slightly extended version out of the Internet suite. The updates were mainly to improvements in the surface, such as the mail / news section has been revised. Technical improvements to the browser navigator were not carried out. Nevertheless, a jump to version 4.5 has been used: The Suite Netscape Communicator 4.5 took over 4.0x the properties of the old versions, only 4:08 remained as a standalone browser still valid - because in principle it was at version 4.5 to a slightly extended version of the 4.08er; the browser part were identical anyway. Only for Unix and Unix-like operating systems newer standalone versions were also provided by 4.5x.

Just a month after the release of Netscape Communicator 4.5, so in November 1998, work on Netscape Communicator 5.0 was set. The old code of the 3.x and 4.x versions he had proved to be too big an issue. They wanted to create a whole new product that should also use a completely new rendering engine ( Gecko ). In the same month, Netscape Corp. was. acquired by AOL.

In parallel with this browser redevelopment, under the auspices of Netscape (which the majority of working because programmers put ) by an open source community should be cared for, were ( to plug security holes) so-called " maintenance " releases of Netscape Communicator maintained: In August 2002, two months after the release of version 1.0 of the Mozilla browser, the latest version of Netscape Communicator appeared with the version number 4.8. The last German version of the suite was 4.78. Until that time, Netscape had continuously lost on browser market compared to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Under AOL / Netscape a new suite was in 2000, brought out: Netscape 6.0, Mozilla 0.6 based on and was indulged in no very great success. This new suite is not Netscape Communicator 6.0 baptized on purpose, but just " Netscape 6.0", because until 2002, it was indeed still driven on the rail of the 4.xer versions. In addition, they wanted to say goodbye to the old Communicator name. Continue the name "Navigator" was used to just here to maintain continuity for the browser. But the " Communicator " died with version 4.8 and was not continued until today.

Since then successively published new versions of Netscape, based on Mozilla, Netscape with AOL additions (such as Real Player, Flash, Java) provides for download. However, you is only met with very limited success.

In general, " Netscape 6.2", based on Mozilla 0.9.4, the first usable version of this new Netscape suite.

End of August 2002, in a way parallel to the last old Netscape Communicator 4.x, Netscape 7.0 was released, now based on Mozilla 1.0.1. For Netscape could have been reinstated to an alternative in the browser market, but most former users used the same Mozilla and not basing Netscape version. Above all, Netscape had made no friends when you had decided for Netscape 7.0, disable the famous Mozilla popup blocker ( which could be reactivated while, but all the work that alienated many potential users).

Since Netscape 6 user-specific versions such as Netscape 7 Compact based on the original Netscape or Mozilla source code are also published. These are adjusted using the on Netscape Client Customization Kit freely accessible. Whether such developments, which demonstrate the potential of Netscape as an open- source browser, durable fit into the concept of AOL, owner of the brand Netscape remains to be seen.

On 15 July 2003 entered into by AOL Netscape Headquarters in Mountain View, California. The rest of the programmers who worked there at Mozilla and Netscape, were dismissed. Since this time, there Netscape only as a brand name.

Nevertheless, published until 2004 updates the Netscape7 rail, but the Mozilla development always a little lagged. Netscape 7.2 in the summer of 2004, the last version of Netscape is based on the full Mozilla suite (ie consisting of browser, HTML editor and mail / news program). Fatally, based on Mozilla 1.7.2 Netscape 7.2, that version was not recommended because of a security issue. Therefore, the use of Netscape 7.2 is also not recommended.

Netscape 7.2 was the most recent version of a suite, that is a complete software package. Who wants to continue to use an Internet suite -style Netscape, can upgrade to SeaMonkey, the current successor of the Mozilla Suite also set. Could Netscape 7.2 still in the tradition of the old suites such as Netscape Navigator 3 and Netscape Communicator 4 see, this was turned on its head with the release of version 8.0 in May 2005, the first version of the " Netscape Browser 8.0 " appeared, which, name also referred to as pure browser e-mail/news and HTML editor completely absent. It is thus no longer directly relate it with Netscape Communicator; as the old name "Navigator" has been removed: The program is called only " Netscape Browser". Netscape browser based on Mozilla Firefox ( also a stand-alone browser ) and is compiled by a third-party company on behalf of AOL. The peculiarity of the Netscape browser is the possibility of using the Internet Explorer rendering engine.

In January 2007, Netscape announced version 9 of the browser. This should be a stand-alone browser without mail, Usenet or editor function that should be run not only on Windows but also Mac OS X and Linux. In principle, it should thereby be a Mozilla Firefox Netscape -specific extensions.

The following list of Netscape software is not complete and also recorded versions that neither belong to the Communicator series can still be called a suite.



The export of programs from the United States who have secure mechanisms of encryption has long been banned because of the CoCom list. In early 2000, these provisions were relaxed. Then Australian programmer who developed the program " Fortify for Netscape ". This activated in a unique action an already installed Netscape browser again strong encryption.