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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.

By Brian Krebs  |  February 27, 2008; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  New Patches  
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Comments

Wait a minute...AOL users are bred to use Netscape? Which they are discontinuing? And suggesting those users switch over to Firefox?

...
Does anyone else possibly see Firefox's share of the browser market suddenly surge after a few months of this? Not like AOL users are particularly savvy, but they do what they're told. If they're told to use Firefox...hmmm, suddenly I'm in a good mood today.

Posted by: Samas | February 27, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Why Samas? The more market share firefox gets, the more time e-hoodlums will spend writing exploits targeting it.

Posted by: ugh | February 28, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Given the fact that in Europe, over 28 % of website visits are made by persons using Firefox, I think we can presume that e-hoodlums are already hard at work, attempting to find and exploit security lacunae in the browser. The reason why not only Samas but also others should be glad at further increases of Firefox's share of the market is that it, unlike IE, is a browser that most of its users have actively chosen. A blow to «bundling» is a blow for a better-functioning market, which thereby more adequately serves all users, whether they prefer Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, etc, etc, or any combination of the above....

Henri

Posted by: mhenriday | February 28, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who use Netscape Composer, all the other browers are useless and designed to be so.

Posted by: George11 | February 28, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I like Firefox alot but in a corporate environment, it has problems updating correctly on "user" profiles. IE is easier to update and manage because it's works so well with Windows and it's different user account modes.

Posted by: stgenerations | February 28, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

And it's almost the anniversary! March 31, 2008 will mark the 10th Anniversary of Netscape releasing their source code to the world.

Posted by: Mackenzie | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't find a way to reach you / no upcoming scheduled chats so I'm posting here hoping it makes its way to you

Have you come across this multi-platform security suite VaultletSuite 2 Go:
https://www.vaultletsoft.com/
http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/networking_security/vaultletsuite2go.html
It's subscription based app but single users can get a free, lesser feature version.

Today is first I've ever heard of it.
I'm mainly a mac user BTW but also have PC family & friends that I help regularly.

Wondering what you think, if you could review, compare, put in context, etc.

THANKS!!! love your columns and chats, I use your recommendations/advice/resources to help my elderly family members who are on fixed incomes (and their neighbors, too). So, really, you're doing a great public service and we really appreciate it.

Posted by: Security Vaultlet Suite Question for Brian | February 28, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

George, if you want a Composer similar to the one in Netscape, try nvu or the mozilla suite.

Posted by: Jesse Ruderman | February 29, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

@samas: Yes that makes sense. Glad you're happy. Maybe it is a good day!

Posted by: Rick | March 1, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Jesse: FIY: Both nvu and Mozilla Suite are discontinued products as is Netscape
Composer.

Posted by: George11 | March 2, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@George11: The Mozilla Suite continues under the name SeaMonkey. Still has Composer and picks up all the Firefox security fixes much faster than Netscape did (usually releasing the same day).

Posted by: Dan Veditz | March 4, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Brian,

In response to Brian's question, the VaultletSuite 2 Go received a 4 out of 5 stars "Softpedia Pick" award from Softpedia for an older version, 2.4. The new version, v2.5, addresses the few quirks that the Softpedia reviewer pointed out.

Here's the review: http://www.softpedia.com/reviews/windows/VaultletSuite-2-Go--Review-75500.shtml

Regards,

Cubista62

Posted by: Cubista62 | March 5, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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