Netscape Communications Corporation

Netscape Communications Corporation was the developer of the most popular early internet web browser which dominated usage in the mid-1990’s. Confusingly, Netscape gave their browser suite different brand names over the years, such as Navigator, Communicator, Browser, and sometimes just Netscape. It also bundled in an email reader and other useful apps. Netscape’s browser share peaked at around 80% in 1996 before Microsoft Internet Explorer took off in the first browser war.

NCSA Mosaic (1993)

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) was a group at the University of Illinois which developed the seminal web browser named Mosaic in 1993. Mosaic played a huge part in making the web more user-friendly. The Mosaic name itself referred to its ability to handle various internet protocols, such as NNTP, Gopher, and FTP, in addition to the core Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) upon which the web was built. It was created by a team led by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, who then left NCSA to focus on developing the browser.

Mosaic Netscape (1994)

Andreessen and Bina left the NCSA and created the Mosaic Communications Corporation along with several former colleagues. They named their browser Netscape, and it was by far the most advanced and usable browser at the time. It became the browser share leader only four months after launch. To avoid naming disputes with their former employer, the company was renamed Netscape Communications Corporation.

Netscape Navigator 1 (1994-1995)

Navigator version 1 was wildly popular and introduced millions of people to the world wide web for the first time.

Netscape Navigator 4 (1997-1998)

1998 saw the rise of the rival Internet Explorer browser, which eventually would take over the market. America Online (AOL) announced in November it was acquiring Netscape Corporation or $4.2 billion. Incidentally, Netscape created the open source project Mozilla in this year, which would Go on to create the Firefox browser.