Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Netscape's Gift to Language/The Browser Wars

The people behind this website were teenagers when Netscape blew up.

Today, Netscape is but a memory, a vestige of the dot.bomb era in which twenty-somethings raised millions of dollars with napkin business plans.

You know you've left your mark on business history when the name of your imploded company turns into a verb:
"....getting Netscaped refers to an instance in which a company gets hurt materially or put out of business as a result of head-to-head competition with Microsoft. Microsoft's size, resources and expertise mean there is always a risk that the company will steal market share. Many competitors have tried to beat the software giant and ended up suffering serious damage...

This term is derived from what happened in the 1990s in the market for internet browsers. Originally, Netscape was the leader, and its cutting-edge browser controlled a large portion of the market. However, Microsoft put huge resources into developing Internet Explorer (its own browser), which gobbled up market share from Netscape. This dashed Netscape's hopes for any long-term success. Some critics questioned the legality of Microsoft's competition strategy, which essentially consisted of giving the product away for free. In the end, it didn't matter - a decimated Netscape was bought out by America Online in 1998...."
Let's hope Google (GOOG) isn't next on Microsoft's "to annihilate" list -- we still have a $600 price target on the 7 year old internet search/content giant.

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