Fortune’s Peter Lewis declares the browser wars over. Citing the recent $750M settlement between MS and AOL, Lewis notes
In case you missed it, Microsoft, already ascertained by the courts to have used its monopoly powers illegally to crush Netscape, agreed Wednesday to pay $750 million to AOL Time Warner (FORTUNEÃ¢€™s parent) in return for AOL dropping a private antitrust suit. Case bought Netscape for $10 billion back in the heady days of 1999 as a weapon to fight Microsoft. Rather than pursue a trial in an attempt to recover the billions lost to MicrosoftÃ¢€™s predatory practices, AOL is tossing in the towel.
Yeah, sure, the Netscape browser is still around and AOL still has more than 200 people working in the Netscape division. But as part of the settlement, AOL asked for and got the right to use MicrosoftÃ¢€™s Internet Explorer royalty-free through the end of the decade. The $750 million settlement that AOL will receive from Microsoft isnÃ¢€™t going to bolster the Netscape division, but rather to reduce AOL Time WarnerÃ¢€™s crushing debt load.
Interesting. Frankly, it seldom occurs to me that there are other browsers out there.