Please note: As of February, 2008, Netscape will once again be discontinued. This time, however, it will be discontinued for all platforms, and support for all versions, past and present, will be discontinued as well. See Tom Drapeau's blog post for more information.
Once the universal choice for browsing the web, Netscape's presence today has been marginalized by many other browsers, largely due to the stagnant 4.x series that introduced little innovation, and to the 6.x series, which merely showed amateurish promise.
Netscape 9 is a bundled Web browser / authoring environment / email / newsreader / instant messenger offering based upon the Mozilla project's browser and renderer work.
The primary components of Netscape and Mozilla - both the web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.
In its older (7.x) incarnations, Netscape represents one of the few remaining opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards. Version 7.02 was the final release for "Classic" Mac OS, and it remains available, below.
Version 9 is available for Mac OS X 10.2 and later, represents the first new release of Netscape for the Mac in over three years. It's a universal binary, and it offers the following:
Version 188.8.131.52 adds/changes the following:
Netscape 9 is as fast at loading and viewing/navigating pages than just about any browser available for the Mac - even though the interface elements are somewhat clunkier. Even so, Netscape Communicator 4 (updated on 8/20/2002 to version 4.8) is still available (see below) for those who might prefer its quirks.
I have chosen not to review the non-browser components of this release, but I generally recommend people use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software (although the email component has gotten rave reviews in many publications). The Swiss army knife approach just doesn't cut it for me (pun very much intended) when it's not a matter of my pockets feeling bulky.
"Impressive, this new Netscape version (7.0). I was still using 4.76, seeing that version 6 was not well reviewed. This new version draws fast and does not redraw (so far). I like the look and feel of it. After only about an hour with it, I can say I will adopt it. I'm using a PowerBook G3 (Firewire) with OS 9.1 and 384MB of memory. Consider this browser."
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the version 184.108.40.206 full installer for Mac OS X 10.2+ (Carbon / Universal; ~17 MB).
the version 7.2 full installer for Mac OS X (Carbon; ~17.5 MB).
the version 7.02 smart installer ("Classic" - Power Macs only; ~156K).
the version 7.02 full installer ("Classic" - Power Macs only; ~20.2 MB).
to the Communicator 4.8 FTP site to select a version for downloading ("Classic" - Power Macs only).
to the Communicator 4.08 FTP site to select a version for downloading (680x0 Macs).
Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:
Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.
Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.
Andrew Starr has another marvelous page about Usenet newsreaders that you simply must check out.
There are several Usenet newsgroups dedicated to Macintosh-specific topics. Here are the most essential ones:
comp.sys.mac.announce is a moderated newsgroup that contains important general announcements to the Macintosh community.
comp.sys.mac.apps is the place to go when you have questions about specific Macintosh programs.
comp.sys.mac.comm is the place to discuss all things involving Macintosh telecommunications and Macs on the Internet.
comp.sys.mac.printing is for all printer- and printing-related discussion.
comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc is for discussion of all other Macintosh hardware-related questions.
comp.sys.mac.system is the place to go for MacOS-related discussions.
comp.sys.mac.misc is the place to post when other Macintosh-related newsgroups don't fit the bill.
Note: If you'd like to search the Usenet for Macintosh-related information, you really only have one option (but it's a good one): Google purchased the old DejaNews (Deja.com) Usenet archive, and now offers sophisticated searching of all mainstream Usenet newsgroups, both past and present.
These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!