San Francisco back in 1994 had me standing in in the car park of the Lotus subsidiary cc:Mail being pointed towards a building nearby. ‘That company is called Netscape” I was told, ‘they are going to be big’. The web was a foetus, the internet was a primitive transport layer for the occasional SMTP mail and Microsoft had just bought a MHS based email system called Network Courier.
Netscape did indeed achieve great things but they roused the ire of the giant, and once Microsoft decided that it had invented the Internet they were squeezed and pummelled into submission. AOLs acquisition of Netscape in recent years simply kept the patient alive in a PVS sort of way, however in Firefox the spirit of what made Netscape (and many of the people) live on.
As part of the progenitors of Web based collaboration I salute Netscape knowing that from Mountain View, Palo Alto and surroundings more radical innovation will arise from the ashes of a Web wars victim.
Oh and a Happy New Year to you