Browser Wars

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Netscape and Microsoft look at the internet browser in different terms and therefore pursue different strategies with their browsers. Microsoft looks at the internet browser as a component to the Operating System (OS) and should be integrated with the OS to maximize the browser’s functions. Netscape on the other hand thought the best way to develop the browser was to eventually open their source code. This allowed developers to grow the browser along with the company, further building the browsers functions. In order for Microsoft to continue to push its browser’s strategy it will need to resolve the antitrust cases currently placed against them. The current bundling of the Microsoft OS and internet browser provides a greater base of customers using the Microsoft browser. It was found that 80% of the personal computer market was running the Microsoft OS. Netscape will need to be the industry leader in browser technology by developing and implement its browser’s functions and being first to market with new functions. With a superior product customers will be more willing to incur the switching cost and use the Netscape browser.

From the beginning Netscape had a grand vision for the internet browser. Netscape thought that the ability to communicate in the future would become far more important than desktop power and applications. They believed it was essential to create an internet browser that worked with the server and allowed for consistent continuous improvement for both. Without this link between browser and server the browser becomes just another component. Once Microsoft entered the market and started to take up more and more of the consumers, Netscape had to adjust its strategy. Its earlier strategies of the browser being multiplatform, given for free to use, and the method of distribution to reach both current and new customers were just not enough to stay off Microsoft’s push. Netscape decided to open its...
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