Mosaic Netscape Communications polo shirt
Netscape started as “Mosaic Communications,” which attracted a lawsuit from Mosaic owner NCSA. A name change was a condition of the settlement. They chose their new browser’s name, Netscape, for the company.
Browser War 1: Netscape vs. Mosaic
Mosaic’s triumph caught Silicon Valley’s attention. In 1994, Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics, recruited Marc Andreessen for a new company. The goal: A “Mosaic killer” browser and server.
The newly formed Netscape hired Eric Bina and much of the Mosaic team, and soon achieved its objective.
John Kohler: Building on Mosaic's User Base
1. Building on Mosaic’s User Base
2. Netscape’s Business Model
3. The Netscape demo
Jim Clark pioneered hardware and software for computer graphics in the 1970s, and founded Silicon Graphics (SGI) in 1982. After leaving SGI in 1994, he met Andreessen and started Netscape.View Artifact Detail
Navigator, a complete rewrite of Mosaic, was more reliable and faster. Personal copies could be downloaded for free. Boxed versions like this were for sale to commercial clients. This innovative business model showed industry skeptics that an open standard could be profitable.View Artifact Detail
Browser War 2: Microsoft vs. Netscape
In 1995 Microsoft stopped challenging the Web with its MSN online service. It set out instead to win on the Web with Internet Explorer (IE), based on a licensed version of Mosaic.
Netscape, fresh from a groundbreaking IPO, was riding high. But IE overtook it by 1998. Netscape was partly reincarnated later as Firefox.
Microsoft Internet Explorer software
Internet Explorer came free with Windows '95, which triggered government antitrust action but helped Explorer gradually overtake Netscape.View Artifact Detail
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder
In a famous 1995 “Internet Tidal Wave” memo, Bill Gates refocused the company on a new Web-based strategy for the software giant, saying “I assign the Internet the highest level of importance.”View Artifact Detail
Netscape IPO prospectus
Netscape’s business model—free software to individuals, site licenses to corporations— turned the previously academic Internet into big business. Its successful 1995 IPO launched the dot-com boom.View Artifact Detail