NetscapeDuring its mid-1990s heyday, Netscape occupied the lions share of the Web browser market, but found itself enveloped in the infamous “browser wars” against Microsofts Internet Explorer. In November 1998, AOL acquired Netscape for $4.2 billion, but Netscapes browser market share continued to steadily drop and the unit was eventually dissolved.
America Online (AOL) This online service provider once counted more than 30 million people as subscribers, and was strong enough to merge with Time Warner. Since that merger, though, its members have been fleeing the company’s “Walled Garden” business model, eventually leading to a split with Time Warner, rounds of downsizing and a December 2009 attempt at rebranding.
Yahoo Incorporated in 1995, Yahoo rapidly grew in popularity as a Web portal and survived the dot-com bust, but by the late 2000s it saw its search-engine market share declining in the face of fierce competition from Google. After fending off a takeover attempt by Microsoft in 2008, Yahoo eventually entered into a search-and-advertising deal that will see Microsoft’s Bing take over Yahoo’s back-end search.
NapsterOnce the scourge of the recording industry, Napsters file-sharing service became the most popular way to swap music files, at least until a series of lawsuits from Metallica, Dr. Dre and others forced the network to shut down in summer 2001. The brand has been bought and sold by various companies ever since, but none has been able to revive Napsters buzz circa 1999-2000.
YouTube Acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.6 billion, this video-sharing Website has become a favorite depository for user-generated content (because you can never have too many surfing-squirrel videos, some people figure). Google has been introducing professionally made content in an attempt to compete against Hulu, Netflix’s online-streaming service, and other video sites.
CompuServeConsidered a premier Internet provider in the 1980s and early -90s, CompuServe found its prices undercut by AOL and Prodigy, and its subscription base slowly decimated. In early 1998, it was sold to AOL, which later shut down CompuServe Classic in 2009. CompuServe 2000, a newer service, continues to operate.
Symbolics The oldest currently registered domain name, originally created on March 15, 1985.