First, it was the maintenance workers taking the Netscape letters off the AOL-Netscape buildings in Mountain View. Then, a new jazzed-up Mozilla.org website announces that the Mozilla open-source code and developers will be spun off from AOL as the Mozilla Foundation.
Today, the shoe finally drops – AOL dissolves Netscape, the web’s first techno-pioneer, the creator of the modern WWW browser, the cradle of Silicon Valley’s first dotcom millionaires. All staff are laid off.
Seems AOL has got what it wanted from the big N – a bargaining chip in lawsuits against Microsoft to get a favourable deal on IE engine licensing with the AOL browser. Mission accomplished.
So AOL gives the Foundation $2 mill as severance pay, no hard feelings, and they are still free to use Mozilla open source for Compuserve or AOL for Mac. Except they don’t have to pay for development anymore.