It was only a matter of time.
AOL announced yesterday that they are officially pulling the plug on the Netscape browser February 8 2008. (http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9054521&intsrc=hm_list)
Microsoft wins again. But this was never a Darwinian battle that ensured the survival of the fittest. This was an economic erasure by the Microsoft "Borg" of the more innovative "Netscapians" who had no "USS Enterprise" to protect them.
Whatever became of the "Federation" of software companies joining forces to fight their monopolistic foe? What of the US Federal Government's anti-trust case? The DOJ's inability to deal with Microsoft has generated plenty of anti-trust amongst average Americans. This was no juvenile crime! Today it seems all that stands in the way of Micosoft's global domination of the software industry is a small band of rebels known only vaguely as the Open Source Community. To battle Internet Explorer's 76% market share these rebels will be rallying the troops around Mozilla Corporation's Firefox browser that today has only a 16% market share.
Good luck boys!
On the commercial front it would seem that upstart Google has the best shot at leveraging the Web paradigm enough to hold the "Borg" off for awhile. Google needs to do a better job of forging alliances with other software and hardware companies if it wants to win and win big in the long haul. If Google tries to go one on one with Microsoft it will learn the hard way like Netscape before it, that Microsoft doesn't fight fair.
Remember one of the lessons from the playground. Having a lot of friends is the only way to keep a bully off your back!