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Chapter 1. The Problem with the Blue E > A Long Shot That Paid Off

1.5. A Long Shot That Paid Off

Netscape's responded to its dilemma in two ways over the course of 1998, and both shocked the world. First, in January 1998, Netscape announced that it was open sourcing the programming code to its web browser, making it available to anyone in the world to work on collaboratively. By harnessing the collective work of brilliant programmers all over the world, Netscape hoped to leap past Microsoft and ultimately win the browser war—and produce much better software while it was at it.

Nowadays, as the open source movement continues its inexorable march toward ubiquity and Microsoft is beginning to feel the pressure of a rival that it cannot buy out, frighten, or cow into submission, Netscape's move (like so many of its other actions throughout its history), seems prophetic and forward thinking. Netscape was the first big company to embrace open source by opening its code, but it was certainly not the last.


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