Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Demise of an icon

I was sad to read this weekend of the demise of Netscape - the original web browser, and a symbol of the early days of the internet. In fact, I remember when the two things were interchangeable - people would talk about using Netscape, when they meant using the internet. But of course, we didn't refer to the internet then either, we talked about using the "World Wide Web". There was a lot of fuss about it, and how much time could potentially be wasted browsing this new source of information. I was asked by the then personnel department if I could restrict the amount of use people made of "Netscape" in one day, and maybe restrict it to outside working hours. I even headed off an internal audit on the use of "Netscape", by introducing the auditor to web pages about his favourite football team. It all seems a long time ago now.


Le Plume said...

then again, from a professional point of view, "the internet" is the set of computers connected together through TCP/IP connectivy. The WWW, on the other hand, is the set of information services that use HTTP or related protocols. It is thus a specific application of internet connectivity, among others (like e-mail).

Microsoft introduced this semantic confusion when they decided to call their web browser "internet explorer". Use of "internet" in place of "WWW" always makes me cringe!

I do remember the first releases of Netscape, though, whith the light grey default background. And then the first search engines, lycos, altavista... Memories are made of this.

Anonymous said...

Netscape was not "the original web browser."
I think most people who know about the history of the internet would say that that particular honour belongs to 'Mosaic'.


Chris Sexton said...

True, but it was the original one to me, and most people not involved in IT at the time, as it was the first one I used - and the only one available to us on our desktop at the time.