NETSCAPE: free browser, free source
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:08:23 -0800 (PST)


For everyone that hasn't heard yet, Netscape announced today that Navigator and Communicator 4.x are will be freely available for download from this day forward.

More interesting, they also announced that the source code for Navigator/Communicator, starting with version 5.0, will be freely available on the Internet for the taking. It appears that Netscape wants to try a Linux-esque model for development and bug fixes on its flagship product.

I find this to be an interesting turn of events that could only happen in an information economy. The freely available/distributeable/modifiable source code (available end of March) gives Netscape a very good chance of trumping Microsofts slow encroachment of Netscape's market share. Given to the developer community at large, Navigator could be whipped into a great browser a lot quicker and cheaper than Netscape could manage by themselves. It is *highly* unlikely that Microsoft will give up control of their source, IMO.

It will be very interesting to see what happens...

-James Rogers