An Opera Update And A Farewell to Netscape
A new version of the Opera Web browser fixes at least three security vulnerabilities in the software. Separately, a security patch from AOL marks the final update for the venerable Netscape browser.
The latest update from AOL will be the last for Netscape: AOL officially ends support for it on March 1, meaning it has no further plans to ship security updates for Netscape or otherwise maintain the browser.
While Netscape's share of the browser market today is practically negligible compared to that of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, this final version is a bit of an unceremonious goodbye for a browser that helped introduce so many people to the World Wide Web back in the mid-1990s. In 1998, Netscape released the source code for the Netscape Communicator browser. By doing so, it helped formed the basis of the Mozilla.org project -- an open source initiative that laid the groundwork for Firefox (For more background on the storied relationship between Netscape, AOL and Mozilla, see these links here).
AOL is urging Netscape users to consider switching over to Firefox, which is similar in look and feel, by including the Netscape 9 Migrator, to this final, patched version of Netscape. The migrator tool manifests itself as a red exclamation mark in the lower right hand corner of the latest Netscape browser window, which when clicked pops up a box displaying installer links for both Firefox and Flock, another browser based on Firefox that emphasizes blogs, news feeds and social networking sites.
For Netscape users who switch to Firefox but still pine for the Netscape-like interface, there also is a Firefox add-on that incorporates the Netscape theme.
Opera, of course, is another alternative. The latest Opera release brings the browser to version 9.26. Current Opera users should be alerted that a new version is available. The direct download for the latest version can be found at this link.
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