From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
What is Mozilla?
Mozilla is both the name of an Internet software program and the name of the organization that makes it.
The software program is formally known as the Mozilla Application Suite, or simply the Mozilla Suite. It includes a Web browser, an e-mail client, and more.
Mozilla the organization was founded in 1998 to create the Mozilla Suite. It later produced other software products, including:
(For details about Mozilla products, refer to the summary page.) In 2003 the organization was registered as a not-for-profit organization, and became the Mozilla Foundation. In 2005 a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation called Mozilla Corporation was created to focus on delivering Firefox and Thunderbird to end users. It also oversees marketing and sponsorships of the Mozilla products.
Mozilla’s relationship to Netscape
Mozilla and Netscape have had an interesting relationship. Netscape was the company that created the open-source Mozilla project by contributing pre-5.0 Netscape beta code. This code was eventually abandoned in favor of a ground-up rewrite of the browser, from which future Netscape releases were made. Although it came too late to help Netscape in the Browser wars, beta versions of the Mozilla Suite formed the basis for Netscape 6.x versions, and the version 1.0 release of the Suite was combined with proprietary components such as AIM and Netscape Radio to create Netscape 7. Netscape 8 was based on Mozilla Firefox 1.0 and is solely a Web browser application.