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osOpinion: The Browser Wars: New shots in an old battle. Maybe not.

Apr 13, 2000, 05:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Walker)

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"This week has been very interesting for web users. Netscape has made a pre-release version of Netscape 6 available, and Internet Explorer 5.5 has come under attack from the World Wide Web consortium (W3C)."

"Most people are looking at these news items as another round in an old battle, i.e. which browser will rule the web. To a certain extent this may be true, but IE will dominate the computer market as long as Windows sits on top of the OS market. If you take a step back and look down the road, you'll see this is the opening salvo in a new battle for domination of the Internet appliance market. Both players are approaching this battle from different angles."

"Let's look at Netscape's approach. Although the release of a new browser is welcome news, the real news is the Gecko engine. Gecko is smaller, faster, and more nimble than any other HTML engine out there. Even with all of the add-on's Netscape added to version 6, it's still only half the size of Communicator 4.7, and less than 1/3 the size of Internet Explorer. What's significant about this, you ask? The significance is most evident to the Internet appliance market. Get rid of the add-ons to Netscape 6 and you have a lean, mean, browsing machine that will drastically cut the hardware requirements for internet appliances."

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