Brand Necrophilia

So I just wanted to get that out there.

(In regards, of course, to AOL's "repurposing" of the name "Netscape" to refer to a bargain-basement AOL service.)

The best part of this latest bit of corpse-fucking is going to be the browser: because there's no way that "AOL lite" is going to ship with Mozilla, right? They fired all the Mozilla developers, after all, because they have a new MSIE contract. So they'll ship a branded MSIE.

It will be "the Netscape version of Microsoft Internet Explorer."

That's just so wonderfully head-explodey!

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33 Responses:

  1. insomnia says:

    I'm not even sure it's right to call this corpse fucking, because the corpse in question has already been fucked repeatedly. It's more like a particularly nasty case of sloppy seconds, taking place after rigor mortis has already kicked in.

    The meat just falls right off the bones...

  2. Quick, trademark the term "Brand Necrophilia" before someone else does.

  3. sungo says:

    those of us who work for aol are wondering the exact same thing. we're still hoping they use gecko. since we have gecko in several european clients already. i haven't heard anything official on what browser it will be tho.

  4. beavix says:

    necrophilia.. because there's nothing like popping a stiff cold one on a hot, hot day.

  5. erorus says:

    Hey, at least they're dropping the "AOL" name from good ol' "AOL Time Warner" this week. You must be at least a little pleased about that, right? Right?

    • jwz says:

      Uh, no, I couldn't care less what they call themselves.

      • erorus says:

        Well, I thought maybe it'd be a tiny bit of satisfaction that TW sees their name sullied by the same AOL, so much so that they're changing it. Or not. Whatever. ::mutters, walks away::

  6. cpratt says:

    Jeez, don't you remember when Netscape introduced the Netscape-branded discount ISP in the UK? If I remember correctly, we did that in early 1999 - although I can't remember if that was originally a Mike Homer thing, or if was just one of the first of many instances of AOL corpse-fucking...

    Netscape-the-UK-ISP shut down in early 2002. I wonder how long the US version is going to last.

    • jwz says:

      No, I'd totally forgotten about that -- or maybe I never noticed in the first place.

      I do remember when they started the "" web-mail thingy. Originally Homer was actually going to pimp out "" email addresses, but I think dmose/dmay/lord staged a hunger strike or something to put a stop to that.

      "Having fought to keep ads from appearing in every corner of Communicator, I've come to believe that if Mike Homer could get his kids into Harvard for free by tattooing ``Harvard'' on their foreheads, he would do it in a flash."

      -- Hagan Rivers, Netscape UI designer, 1997.

      • violentbloom says:

        thankfully I'd quit by then so I no longer was anywhere near or effected by mike homer. I do have fond memories of him getting stuck in the tent of doom and flaying about trapped in the netting. Brings a smile to my face to this day.

        didn't homer end up renaming his children "nike" and "coca-cola" with accompanying logo tattoos on the forhead?

  7. bitpuddle says:

    Milking anything possible from the corpse, irony be damned.

    Kind of the opposite of a leveraged buyout. Absorb a bunch of companies and dream up ways to reduce the value of all component parts. Nihilistic brilliance, really.

  8. emacsmood says:

    makes my head spin. What, it has hyooooge icons and ads with about a 50x50 pixel area for actual browsing? Users are allowed to send 3 email messages a week and their inbox is limited to 5K? IM only lets them use words of less than three syllables starting with "z" and randomly drops messages? They can only connect with a rare 127.5 baud handset-coupled modem made by Racal-Vadic in the mid 70s? Instead of "you've got mail!" it says "umail."? Only runs on a 286?

    All this, and MORE!

  9. dzm6 says:

    I miss working for Netscape. We were totally doomed, but it felt like we were fighting the good fight.

    AOL fucked our happy doomed little company. If AOL had not acquired us, we'd just be a footnote now. This would be a Good Thing though, since at least AOL wouldn't be sticking a stick up Netscape's ass every year or two and making the corpse dance.

    AOL makes me want to cry.

    "It's a real shame what happened to our company."
    -- JB

    • king_mob says:

      Hey! You're the Wake of the Medusa guy! You rule!

    • phygelus says:

      This would be a Good Thing though, since at least AOL wouldn't be sticking a stick up Netscape's ass every year or two and making the corpse dance.

      It's a shame that this mostly only happens to companies.

      • anonymous says:

        I don't understand. Are you saying that more human corpses should have sticks stuck up their ass and then made to dance? Sounds kinda medieval, and pretty unhygienic besides. Pretty amusing mental picture though.

  10. aml says:

    i thought compuserve was already the cheap version of AOL. it already has the single email address, the google-powered search, etc.

    perhaps it's a rebranding, or they're going to give the fucker two names. i was just kind of surprised the geniuses at Cnet totally ignored the existance of a service very like the one they describe. i didn't think they were this incompetent.

    • waider says:

      c|net used be part of my daily browse until I got irritated with the rampant stupidity of the bulk of it and stopped reading. I've recently started picking up the RSS feed because it allows me to skim it and go, "Stupid, stupid, stupid, hmm. interesting. Stupid, stupid, stupid..." Every once in a while something useful shows up that hasn't already been linked to death by The Register, BoingBoing, or some other one of the things I read.

    • shandrew says:

      The strategy most likely is to save AOL's failing ISP business by using the General Motors strategy--have a bunch of brands which are all essentially the same thing, but make it look to the consumer that they are all separate products. If consumers are picking between 20 choices and 10 of them are AOL-brands, then the random consumer choice will frequently end up on an AOL brand. It's stupid and annoying.

    • jamesd says:

      CompuServe is a 7 screen name/address client with the gecko engine.

      CompuServe Basic is the $9.9n cut-price version with a single email address which is being pitched to those departing AOL for low-price dialup alternatives. Was pitched from Netscape as well, for a while. At least some CompuServe members discovered it and signed up, so using the Netscape brand name may be intended to let Netscape be bargain basement, CompuServe be middle of the road "value" brand and AOL be high end, cutting the chance of taking CompuServe members away.

      Trying to get as much money as possible from the customers, by pitching them the highest-priced option they will take.

  11. suppafly says:

    i thought maybe that corpse-fucking link would have linked to today's penny-arcade..

    netscape powered by microsoft internet explorer is the ultimate irony.

  12. cyeh says:

    My head just exploded.

  13. jwz says: seems to have been ressurected, though it no longer looks like this...

    • dzm6 says:

      Ewww. That so ain't right.

    • jonabbey says:

      What, on the theory that are tons of people who are simultaneously a) so newbie to the net that they need a portal page, and b) going to know that there ever was such a place as Mosaic Communications Corp.?

      I think not, captain.

    • lohphat says:

      I remember when jimb told dmose and I to kill, but no one would tolerate the intrusion into their system configs nor system restarts. Thus lives in every major routing device in the bowels of the place.

      I quit 2 months before the AOL merger accouncement in 1998 -- I never received an AOL paycheck. Except... Over two years after I had left I received an overwithholding refund for some past year some bean counter found hiding under a brass pole in the boardroom.

      Bastards. My soul is now unclean.

  14. anonymous says:

    Yeah, sucks when google lets you down. I had my own search miss, on this very-paranoid-friday for me: