AOL is planning to stop supporting its Netscape Navigator Web browser from 1 February 2008. Netscape was launched in 1994, followed in 1995 by Internet Explorer.
Although Netscape will remain available for download, AOL will no longer provide updates. With security updates unavailable from February it is likely that the browser will eventually become obsolete. AOL is advising Netscape users to move to Firefox.
According to a blog posting by Netscape director Tom Drapeau, the move will allow the company to focus on other areas, including an ad-supported web business.
When launched, Netscape was the most popular browser in the world. However, its popularity waned after Microsoft released Internet Explorer for free. Netscape was bought by AOL in 1998 for $4.2bn but the browser has never managed to gain ground on Internet Explorer.