Re: Netscape license

Stefan Sharkansky (
Thu, 24 Nov 1994 01:47:23 +0100

> And a lot of us believe Marc is telling the truth here,
> but why can't the license say this ?
> but their license does give them this option, which is potentially bad
> news for anyone wanting to use it for free in the longterm. Why not
> remove this worry altogether by rewording the license.
> Doesn't the license state their current position better than informal
> comments ?

All this Netscape demonizing is getting tiresome...

The company chose to release a free browser because it's in their
business interest to do so. I'm not privy to Marc and Jim's private
thoughts, but according to everything I've read about them
in the trade press, they intend to make most of their money selling
servers. So they are highly motivated to maximize their share of the
browser market any way that they can.

They recently released a version on Linux, after all. Surely you don't
think that Marc is planning to buy his Porsche with revenue from a bunch of
cheapskates (like myself) who won't even spring for a *real* OS?

Even if Netscape were to take away the free browser and start charging for
it, what have you lost? There are several other browsers out there, and
you can always buy another one, use the NCSA free one, or write your own.

Reasonable people can debate the relative merits of the various NCOM
technical and business decisions, but it doesn't make sense to paint them
as monopolists. Like most entrepreneurs, they're winning some and they're
losing some. As bright as their team of people is, they're just not big
enough to drive this market in the foreseeable future. And based on what I
know about them, I believe they're smart enough to recognize that and act



Stefan Sharkansky Prospero Systems Research, Inc. USMAIL 520 Frederick St. Box 19, San Francisco, CA 94117 VOICE (415) 731-8114 FAX (415) 731-3395 E-MAIL