Microsoft Tried To Buy Netscape In 1994

By | October 31, 2011 | 10 Comments


Microsoft Tried To Buy Netscape In 1994Remember the great web browser war in the 90s? Internet Explorer vs. Netscape, the battle of two titans.

Turns out, things might have taken slightly different turn. According to Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript language, Microsoft tried to acquire Netscape back in 1994, just before the Netscape Navigator release.

Thankfully, it did not happen and a monopoly was avoided, at least for some time.

Here’s what he had to say:

Getting JavaScript out early was important, because Microsoft was “coming after Netscape,” Eich notes. The relationship with Microsoft nearly turned out rather differently: “they’d made an offer to acquire Netscape late 1994 before I joined,” Eich explains; “it was not enough money so they were turned away.”

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Microsoft had actually offered more cash? No browser wars and no motivation to continue improving a web browser.

Sounds like a worse version of IE6 era.

Source: ComputerWorld


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Everybody

    Haha, remember when Bill Gates lied during United States vs Microsoft trial claming that he didn’t know what Netscape was doing?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ2vThhytJQ

  • Non firefox user

    Thanks Firefox!!

  • Asknobody

    Microsoft tried to buy Netscape in 1994 and bought in 2011 when Firefox with Bing as default search engine got released

    • PC`EliTiST

      I now have to organise the entire world for a great, synchronised facepalm to deal with that comment.

  • Mikah

    The original article is a fascinating read on the death of Netscape & the origins of Firefox.

    The battle of two titans is stretching it. They were big fish in a very small pond. Their was only around  
    16 million internet users worldwide in 1995.
    There was no way Microsoft buying Netscape back then would have stifled competition . There might have been no Firefox but there would have been some other Open source browser to take its place.

    • Asknobody

      Maybe learn more about those times? Netscape Navigator 1.0 was available in December 1994. IE 1.0 made debut in August, 1995. This article is speaking about 1994. So about what competition are you speaking? At that time maybe NN 1.0 wasn’t released at all.
      Also before Firefox/Phoenix there already WERE OPEN SOURCE BROWSERS like Konqueror, Arachne.

      • Mikah

        Puzzled by your reply I said that Microsoft buying Netscape in 1994 would not have stifled competition.
        If Microsoft had made the deal there would have been no Firefox in 2004 but my view is there would have been a strong open source browser on Windows today whatever the name was.

      • Mikah

        Thought i was pretty clear any competition that might have been stifled would have had to have been in the future. 

        • Asknobody

          I’m sorry, that was my mistake, I was thorough enough..

          • Asknobody

            *I wasn’t thorough enough :)