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NY Times: Netscape Browser Faces a Changed World

Mar 20, 2000, 16:53 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Saul Hansell)

"Now, a year after America Online completed the acquisition, the company is getting ready to roll out the first major new Netscape release since the 4.0 browser was introduced in August 1997. (The new version, scheduled to have a preview in April, will be called Netscape 6.0 -- skipping past the long-delayed 5.0 version like an unlucky 13th floor, and challenging Microsoft, which introduced Internet Explorer 5.0 in March 1999.)"

"But even as Netscape touts a series of features and technological improvements in the new browser, just as it has in years past, the entire field of the battle has changed under America Online...."

"What is more, America Online has found an unexpected dividend from one of Netscape's last and most controversial decisions: to make its browser "open source," like the Linux operating system. That means publishing all the key Netscape components on a Web site called Mozilla.org, so independent programmers can improve on them and use them in their own products."

"Now that America Online has agreed to buy Time Warner, it plans to use the modular nature of the browser to build versions of it for major Time Warner brands. That means a CNN browser, for example, would have the look of the CNN Web site and perhaps features like updated headlines and video feeds. Money magazine's Money.com might include stock symbols. And a site for teen-agers might have links to the WB network and AOL chat rooms."

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