Can Mozilla live without Netscape?

In the wake of last week's "settlement" in which Microsoft paid Time-Warner $750,000,000 to settle its wrongdoing in the browser-wars (and got the right to ship Time-Warner's music with Microsoft DRM in return), Andrew Leonard has posted a good editorial pondering the future of Mozilla, now that Netscape's stern parent-company is in bed with Redmond.

If Blizzard is correct, maybe Mozilla doesn't really need Netscape anymore — maybe it's ready to leave the nest. And wouldn't that be the greatest irony of a long and tortuous story? After years of effort by the federal government, Microsoft got away with a slap on the wrist. And after years of tussling with AOL, Microsoft is getting what it wants by handing over buckets of cash. But still, it can't stamp out those pesky open-source coders, who, like cockroaches after a nuclear blast, seem to be able to survive everything. Companies come and go, stock markets rise and fall, and still the developers make their bug reports, check in their new code, and prepare their next release. Maybe the browser wars aren't really over, after all.

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