Oracle chairman Larry Ellison told a crowd of computing industry executives in Australia this week that Netscape was dead, killed off by the predatory practices of Microsoft Corporation and its free Web browser Internet Explorer.
“The most innovative company in Silicon Valley has been completely destroyed by Microsoft," said Ellison, seemingly oblivious to the fact that his own company is based in Silicon Valley. “The most innovative company in the computer industry in the last 10 years is dead. The merger with AOL means \[that\] Netscape is gone. AOL is in a different business. It is not a software company but \[is rather\] a media and a service company. AOL is not interested in Netscape’s technology. It is only interested in Netcenter.”
"I am very disappointed that a company with such personality has been lost to the industry," Ellison continued. "It is not quite as bad as Apple committing suicide by firing Steve Jobs, but it does indicate a serious problem.”
Ellison's comments were a response to a question from a Sun executive, who asked the billionaire what he thought of the AOL buyout of Netscape. Ellison also offered up an opinion on Java.
"My company will work with Sun to ensure that Java as an Internet standard is kept pure and available to us all, as opposed to \[Microsoft\] Java that works only on Windows,” he said