Whatever Happened to Netscape 5.0?

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It's history now. In another sign that the browser wars are largely over, Netscape's parent, America Online, has quietly put off the release of Netscape Communicator 5.0. Such a delay would have been unthinkable as recently as last year, when yes, it was that long ago Microsoft released the first beta of its own 5.0 browser.

Netscape's big browser upgrade was originally scheduled for release over the summer, and it was first shown to developers last December.

Some of the delays in Communicator 5 apparently relate to mozilla.org, Netscape's pioneering experiment with open source software development. It was back in 1998 that Netscape made the underlying source code publicly available in the hopes it would attract software developers. Major companies like Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer have more recently followed Netscape's example, which has yet to prove a substitute for on-staff programming talent. MORE>>