AOL/Netscape has said that they will release a version 7.2 of the Netscape browser based on the release of Mozilla 1.7 (supposedly a long-life release). I’m an advocate of Mozilla and have been pleased that Netscape 7.x has been available as an alternative to IE. Netscape at least gets some name recognition when you tell people that their computer is hopelessly mired in spyware and crap and they’re better off using a different browser.
Mozilla, despite being a better product, and the real software behind Netscape, doesn’t seem to register on most people’s “Legitimate Software Meter.” This is problematic in a situation when Netscape is viewed as a dying company/browser (it is). I was relieved at first to hear the news of the 7.2 release, but then realized its just extending the slow death of Netscape, hindering the option for Mozilla to go mainstream. All the Netscape/Moz-haters may recognize 7.2, but it’ll be the last time they’re so generous.
So, what is wrong with Netscape? Well, being an AOL property, it installs with all the AOL crap you’d expect from another dying company. Netscape 7.x does include a popup blocker, but by default, it allows pop-ups from Wal-mart/Netscape/AOL/Time-Warner/etc. What a crock.
From the support standpoint, I understand that it would be easier to just support one browser. But with IE, that means supporting their Zone Alarm Firewall, spyware, toolbars and pop-up blockers, all which often negatively effect the browser or the Internet experience in some way.
I suppose this all gets back to the support for standards versus the support an application discussion. I think you’ll be able to figure out which side I take.