BROWSER WARS

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 (FORTUNE̢۪s 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 Microsoft̢۪s 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 Microsoft̢۪s Internet Explorer royalty-free through the end of the decade. The $750 million settlement that AOL will receive from Microsoft isn̢۪t going to bolster the Netscape division, but rather to reduce AOL Time Warner̢۪s crushing debt load.

Interesting. Frankly, it seldom occurs to me that there are other browsers out there.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Interesting. Frankly, it seldom occurs to me that there are other browsers out there

    I guess you do not have the ability to run Safari.

    If you did, you would know that their is NO other browser worth talking about. 😉

    Paul

  2. PoliBlogger says:

    Netscape hasn’t been worth squat for years. And this will effectively kill it. Opera is ok, but I prefer IE. I have heard interesting thinga about Safari, but I assume that there isn’t a Windows version.

  3. joy says:

    mmm. Safari. Mac browsing goodness.

    And Poliblogger apparently has never heard of Mozilla which is basically the r&d arm of the company formerly known as Netscape. Many of their innovations (i.e. Gecko, has been introduced into the more “mainstream” browsers. I also think that a few previous versions of AOL browser (6 I think) used the netscape engine and prior to the settlement, AOL was going to use Gecko.

    Also, once you have gotten used to the joys of tabbed browsing, you will never go back. IE doesn’t allow for tabbed browsing.