Netscape Navigator/Communicator was the first commercial web browser, displacing the free NCSA Mosaic. 1.0 was first released in December 1994, and initially offered advanced features such as progressively rendering pages as they loaded. It quickly gained many other features and capabilities and became the most popular web browser in the mid 1990s. One reason for its popularity, it was licensed freely for personal and non-profit use, although companies were expected to pay for a license. It later competed with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari, and eventually was open sourced in to the Mozilla browser.
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The Netscape 3.0.x browser was probably the most popular version.
Version 3.0 was released in two editions - the Standard Edition and the Gold Edition. The Standard Edition included the browser, as well as a mail and news client, and the Gold Edition included built-in an HTML editor on top of that. Some versions also bundled Real Player, WinAmp, a VRML plugin, and CoolTalk audio conferencing. There were only small enhancements to the HTML rendering over version 2.x.
Netscape 3 quickly began to see competition from Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3 - which was a mandatory component of Windows 95 OSR2 and therefore installed on all new Windows PCs.
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