Released in 1994 by Netscape Communications Inc as Mosaic and Mosaic Netscape, it was created by former members of the team that created the original Mosaic web browser. Version 1.0 appeared at the height of the internet craze, becoming the dominant browser and forcing Mosaic into obscurity. It soon became the primary browser on Windows platforms, readily made available across the web and in trade magazines.
Navigator held 90% of the browser market throughout the decade until Microsoft saw the potential of having the de-facto internet browser. They licensed parts of Mosaic and incorporated that into what became known as Internet Explorer, sparking what is popularly referred to as the “browser wars” today.
By 1998, IE had stolen Navigator’s thunder, causing it’s market share to plummet. Later, the 4.x versions of the browser became buggy, crash prone, and suffered compatibility problems. Microsoft’s heavy marketing and branding strategy paid off, putting Internet Explorer into the hands of more users with their influence and reach. In 1998 Netscape was acquired by AOL. Development continued until it was officially retired in 2008.