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Sinsath Shameer Salahuddeen – Netscape

by on October 2, 2007

Netscape was once a dominant web browser in terms of usage share, but lost most of its share to internet explorer in the first browser war. The first Netscape browser was released in 1994. It was easily available and was an instant success though still in its beta version. Version 2.0 added the full mail reader called the Netscape mail, transforming the browser into an internet suite. Version 3.0 of Netscape was the first to face any serious competition from Microsoft in the form of IE 3.0, but it still remained the leading browser for the time being.

The next updated version was released only after three years which is an awfully long time in the internet world. This is the time when they lost the market and their share plummeted. It was a very long break from version 4.0 to move to version 6.0 and there was no version 5.0.

One of the main reasons for its failure was a strategic mistake that any software company can make. They decided to rewrite the code from scratch which happened to be a very big blunder. It’s always hard to read code than to write it and the new programmers always takes a while to get into the swing of understanding the original code and the original code might seem like a mess, but it was the one that worked. So the company spent all it’s time, money and resources to create something from scratch that to further develop on what they already had.

The result was that they couldn’t come up with a newer version for a long time and they lost in the browser market to Microsoft. Thus this is an example of a failure in change management.



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