Browser war : la guerre des navigateurs

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«THE BROWSER WARS 1994-1998»

1) What were the critical drivers of Netscape’s early success?

Netscape was a great success in its early years for severalreasons. First of all, the company has launched the first commercial Browser (Navigator) distributed on a large scale. It allows the company to acquire a strong awareness and a recognized expertness inthe Internet Market. At this period the name of Netscape was always associated with Internet. Moreover the Netscape Navigator reigned supreme because it had no serious competitors before the entry ofMicrosoft into the market. In the early 95's Netscape had on average 60% of market shares (exhibit 2).

On the other hand Netscape benefits from an experienced team management. The company ismanaged by three charismatic founding fathers. The first, Clark, was one of the legends of the high world. The second fonder Andreessen has worked for the first company who launch the first Browser«Mosaic». Finally Barksdale had accumulated years of experience as an enterprise software customer. Through their respective experiences, in their specifics areas, this management team had the key skills toconduct the business in Netscape.

We can add that the Netscape's ability to capitalize in public relation and media was another key success factor. Indeed the founders believed that in the future, theability to communicate would be far more important than desktop power and applications. They achieved its goal especially with Andreessen, who became a celebrity, bringing Netscape to the attentionof people outside the high-tech world.

Moreover, from entering the market, Netscape has been associated for constantly innovate. For example, it took 9 months to launch the new browser Navigator 2.0after the initial version «Navigator 1.0». This quickness and efficiency was reinforced by the distribution channel of the company. Indeed the primary distribution channel of the company was the...