The Devil Incarnate... er, AOL

The Devil Incarnate… er, AOL Time-Warner is suing Microsoft for sinking its very own Netscape Navigator web browser. Reality check, people — AOL has the largest single base of web users (30+ million and growing) and forces each one to use MS Internet Explorer every time they log on to AOL. So excuse me, but couldn’t AOL have given its own browser a big shot in the arm, simply by integrating it into AOL? Furthermore, AOL’s contract with MS for Explorer ran out months ago — yet they haven’t replaced it with Navigator.


Is this a nuisance suit? Is it public stupidity? Is Steve Case downing more vodka martinis than VodkaPundit?

CONSPIRACY THEORY UPDATE: Could a far-sighted Herr Case have bought heavily-discounted Netscape all those years ago so that he might someday win a triple-damages anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft? Worth pondering.

CONSPIRACY UPDATE UPDATE: Think about this… not only was Netscape stock cheap when AOL picked it up (Netscape was already losing to MS) but AOL hasn’t exactly put a lot of money into it. They barely even did their own programming for Navigator 6, since it was all done open source. And AOL certainly didn’t spend any money integrating the new or old browsers into AOL software. So it’s not like they’ll lose much if this suit doesn’t pan out. An acceptable risk? As Les Nesman once said, “Conspiracy? I wonder…”


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