AOL has a massively long history on the Internet, being one of the firs tcompanies to really get people online (even if you don’t like the service they provide). Back in 1999 there was an acquisition of Netscape Communications Corporation, i.e. Netscape Navigator – one of the leaders in web browsing.
AOL played a massive role in assisting the launch of Netscape 6 – which happened to be Mozilla based (the company behind the Firefox browser) but still Netscape branded. AOL was a major source of support for the Mozilla Foundation and the company continued to develop versions of the Netscape browser based on the work of said Foundation.
Therefore, it comes with great sadness to myself that no longer is Navigator being supporter, as of February 1st 2008. Why is that? Well the first time I had a chance to browse the net – as far as I can recall anyway – it was on a very old PC with Netscape Navigator running. The joy I had of realising that the information superhighway was available right there. It truly is the end of an era.
In other news concerning AOL and Time Warner, Jeffrey Bewkes (new chief executive officer of Time Warner Inc) may be looking at selling the AOL Web and Time Inc magazine units, stated Gamco Investors Inc. The remaining company would be more akin to Viacom – a media based conglomerate.
Back in 2001, America Online Inc’s $124 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc was of course huge news, and seen as one of the biggest media convergences to ever take place. However, plans to sell all sorts of product (including TV shows) via the AOL network saw record losses and the leaving of CEO Gerald Levin and Chairman Stephen Case.
It is possible that the sale of AOL could fetch as much as $18 billion, which by anyone’s calculations is rather a lot of money. What that will mean to subscribes and the services they receive of course will be completely dependent on the buyer of the company.
Bewkes has a history of success – he was after all the man responsible for bringing us all Tony Soprano via HBO. However, he may ultimately lead a Time Warner that is half the size but much more streamlined and geared toward final margins.