‘Browser Wars’ the episode within the documentary series, ‘Download: the true story of the internet’ told the story of a merciless battle between software giant Microsoft and hot new upcoming star Netscape. In a world and time where the internet was, as eluded to in the documentary, a place for ‘geeks’, ‘scientists’ and ‘academics’, Netscape offered a new potential service, one that could be used by everyone.
The documentary was presented in a way that heightened the presence of drama, antagonism and suspense in order to present the so called ‘war’ between Netscape and Microsoft as an intriguing and conflict ridden time in the history of software and the internet. Most likely presented in this way for us less internet savy or purely perhaps uninterested everyday citizens. I know ‘Internet Explorer’ exists but that was really enough for me. Admittedly I was drawn into this up and down battle, finding myself waiting and wondering what would happen next.
Further research prompted me to uncover the fate of Netscape in the future, after the said join with AOL. An article sourced from w3schools.com, suggested the Netscape browser went out of production in December 2007:
‘December 28, 2007: Netscape developers announced that AOL would discontinue their web browser on February 1, 2008, due to low market share.’ (Source: w3schools.com, 2012)
Similarly the piece prompted me to do some research into the current activities of internet browsers now in 2012, because as I look down into the dock on my MacBook, I can see three internet browsers, Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome, all of which are clearly not Internet Explorer.
w3schools, within their article ‘Browser Statistics’ also provided a great list of statistics on internet browser usage, suggesting that in July 2012 Chrome was in fact the highest used browser on 42.9%, followed by Firefox and then Internet Explorer. So this suggested to me that in a world of ever improving technology, software and absolute innovation, Microsofts ‘War’ may never really be over.