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IPW: Netscape 6 - Based On The Open Source Gecko Engine

Aug 09, 2000, 01:13 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

By Kevin Reichard, IPW

The second preview release of Netscape's long awaited new browser is available as a free download today from the Netscape site. The release is immediately available in Windows, Mac, and Linux flavors.

Based on the open-source "Gecko" browser engine, the browser boasts improved performance in a lighter (5.5mb - half the size of Navigator 4.8) download. Additionally, the new browser also claims full standards compliance with multiple Internet protocols, including XML, HTML 4, CSS1, and W3C DOM Level 0 and 1.

Among the new features are a new "sidebar" browser companion tool, providing users with a custom place to store common features and functions. Once stored, items appearing in the sidebar, which can include news or stock information, are updated automatically as long as the user remains online. Individual sites provide custom "tabs" for the sidebar; with companies such as CNN, eBay and NYTIMES.COM providing pre-configured tab selections. Individual sites can also add their own tabs for linking in the sidebar.

In addition to the improved browser performance, Netscape 6 integrates multiple communication tools, including E-Mail, and Instant Messenging, either within the sidebar or from the browser's task bar. Based on AOL's Instant Messenger, the Netscape Messenger service is integrated with the browser itself; allowing users to send and receive messages or check their buddy list from within the application without having to load up a separate program. The mail client, Netscape 6 Mail, features similar integration features, including the ability to notify recipients if the sender of the E-Mail is currently online. Netscape 6 Mail supports multiple AOL, POP3, IMAP, or SMTP mail and newsgroup accounts.

Other key features include support for Java 2, Standard Edition; integration with Net2Phone (allowing users to place phone calls via their Internet connection), and a new Auto Translate feature (based on Gist-In-Time from Allis Technologies) allowing users to instantly examine translations of Web pages written in foreign languages. Additionally, Preview Release 2 adds support for skins and personal privacy enhancements, including enhanced cookie and password management functions and a Personal Security Manager which stores all passwords in encrypted form and provides access to them through a single master password.

The Netscape 6 Preview Release 2 is available immediately from the Netscape Web Site. The previous full release is Navigator 4.8/Communicator 4.72.

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