Ten years of Mozilla

Mozilla logo

Ten years ago, Netscape announced it would release to the public the code of its flag ship product, Netscape Communicator 5, making it an open source product. The action came at a time when Netscape was still the dominant web browser: 65 million users and 90% market share in the educational segment according to Netscape’s own accounts. But Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was grabbing share at a furious pace thanks to it being free (at a time Netscape was about$30) and specially the fact that it came bundled with Windows 95 and upcoming Windows 98 (released on June 1998).

With a sliding market share, Netscape decided to focus on its enterprise oriented products and gave away the browser but most importantly allow volunteers to work on the product. Mozilla was nothing but Netscape’s user agent (the name a browser uses to contact the web server), a reminder of the first Netscape code name.

Mozilla timelineOver time, Mozilla would become the name of the open source project, AOL would buy Netscape and Internet Explorer would get up to 90%+ of market share leading to the worst period in web browsers’ history where innovation was a niche for Opera and IE remixes users.

In 2002, Mozilla would finally release its first public version with its crazy mantra: we are platform builders, we are for developers, we leave products for others.

Entered Phoenix, which took Mozilla, the application suite, and made a consumer product out of it. At about the same time, AOL spun off the Mozilla Foundation with a $2 million check. Phoenix, then Firefox, would become an instant hit in 2004 proving the user oriented approach to be the most effective way for Mozilla to achieve its goals.

It’s been ten years of hard times and good times, frustration and satisfaction. But in all, Mozilla existence and success is something we can all, as connected citizens, celebrate: having options when it comes to web browsing because it leads to standardization and innovation, no matter it comes from Opera, Safari, Mozilla or Microsoft.

Original Netscape press release from January 2008.

Complete Mozilla timeline poster.Reminded by Mitchell Baker.

26 Comments

  1. 10 años de Mozilla : January 22, 2008 3:31 pm 

    [...] Hace 10 años Netscape anunció que lanzaría para todo el público, el codigo de su producto más destacado, Netscape Communicator 5, haciéndolo un producto de código abierto. Mozilla no era más que su nombre de agente de usuario (el nombre que un navegador usa para contactarse con un servidor web), un recordatorio del primer nombre en clave de Netscape. A lo largo del tiempo, Mozilla se convertiría en el nombre del proyecto de código abierto. [...]

  2. fsdaily.com January 23, 2008 1:10 am 

    Story added

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  3. 10 años para Mozilla at Tod-OS.com :: Te ponemos al dia January 23, 2008 2:13 pm 

    [...] Publicado por xender 23 January 2008 en Mozilla. Compártelo Tal día como ayer, hace 10 años Netscape anunciaba que el código de la próxima generación de su navegador sería liberado, para entonces Netscape [...]

  4. Mozilla cumple 10 años | SomosPC January 23, 2008 3:18 pm 

    [...] Mozillalinks  Software, Actualidad, aniversario, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, onomástica var uri = [...]

  5. 10 años de Mozilla | Mangas Verdes January 23, 2008 8:10 pm 

    [...] Mozilla está de cumpleaños. Todo se remonta a 10 años atrás, cuando Netscape decidió liberar el código de su Netscape Communicator 5… (vía Slashdot). ¿qué es esto? Se lee en 0’06 minutos | Ver los enlaces a este post |  Imprimir Technorati tags: mozilla,netscape [...]

  6. FireWolf January 23, 2008 9:17 pm 

    Happy Birthday Mozilla!

    Let’s have 10 more ok?

  7. Happy Birthday Mozilla!!! | foojam.com January 23, 2008 9:36 pm 

    [...] 10 years since the Netscape Communicator source code was freed. Blog post here. Original Netscape  press release [...]

  8. {LF} LoadFoO [Weblog] » Blog Archive » Happy 10th birthday, Mozilla! January 24, 2008 5:29 am 

    [...] Happy 10th birthday, Mozilla! Ten years ago, Netscape announced it would release to the public the code of its flag ship product, Netscape Communicator 5, making it an open source product. The action came at a time when Netscape was still the dominant web browser: 65 million users and 90% market share in the educational segment according to Netscape’s own accounts. [...]

  9. 十年Mozilla » 樱桃巷 January 24, 2008 1:33 pm 

    [...] Mozilla刚刚走过了它的十年历程。Firefox的下载量也达到了483621661。虽然它的市场份额与IE相比还有一定的差距,不过它却已经成为很多人的浏览器首选,包括我。 [...]

  10. Brian LePore (POWRSURG)’s personal blog : Monumental week for the Web January 26, 2008 1:47 am 

    [...] Ten years of Mozilla — I know that this is relatively minor, but it is worth pointing out that it has been 10 years since the birth of Mozilla from the Netscape Communicator 5 code branch. We have seen a rendering engine birthed by the dominant browser of the day flounder into near obscurity and then rise up as a Phoenix into the mighty Firefox Web browser. A browser that took away enough market share from Internet Explorer that Microsoft resurrected the development team after it had been discontinued. Thanks to a plethora of development tools, Firefox is the browser of choice in the Web development field. [...]

  11. Mackenzie February 28, 2008 8:59 pm 

    It’s not 331 yet. Mike Pinkerton was my Devel of OSS professor last semester, and he said the open source day was March 31.

  12. Happy 10th Anniversary Mozilla! : Mozilla Links March 31, 2008 8:39 am 

    [...] years ago, following an astonishing announcement on early January, Netscape opened the source code of Communicator 5, Netscape’s suite of Internet [...]

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