Netscape Communications (formerly known as Netscape Communications Corporation and commonly known as Netscape) is a US computer services company, best known for Netscape Navigator, its web browser. When it was an independent company, its headquarters were in Mountain View, California.
Netscape’s web browser was once dominant in terms of usage share, but lost most of that share to Internet Explorer during the first browser war. The usage share of Netscape had fallen from over 90-percent in the mid 1990s to less than one-percent by the end of 2006.
Netscape stock traded from 1995 until 1999 when it was acquired by AOL in a pooling-of-interests transaction ultimately worth US$10 billion. Shortly before its acquisition by AOL, Netscape released the source code for its browser and created the Mozilla Organization to coordinate future development of its product.The Mozilla Organization rewrote the entire browser’s source code based on the Gecko rendering engine; all future Netscape releases were based on this rewritten code. The Gecko engine would later be used to power the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox browser.
Under AOL, Netscape’s browser development continued until December 2007, when Tom Drapeau, director of AOL’s Netscape Brand, announced that the company would stop supporting Netscape software products as of March 1, 2008.The Netscape brand is still used, as of 2012, by AOL to market a discount Internet service provider.