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The Standard: Browser Wars Redux?

“The Wired News headline – “Netscape 6: Does Anyone
Care?” – was odd, considering that the story about the new
version was one of three the site ran. To judge by the amount of
media coverage, reporters care a great deal about the release of
Netscape’s latest browser.
Coming so soon after Microsoft
(MSFT) ‘s legal defeat – in a lawsuit based largely on
Redmond’s attempt to quash Netscape – the upgrade seemed to
suggest another skirmish in the “browser wars.””

“”While many assume that the browser wars are over, the new
browser will have a good chance to reverse the company’s fortunes
– and not just because of Microsoft’s legal problems,” wrote
PC Week’s Jim Rapoza. “PC Week Labs found the preview of Netscape 6
to be many things that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer isn’t: small
vs. bloated, open vs. proprietary, offering support for standards
rather than trying to co-opt them.””

“But at least one battleground remains: America Online. After
all, AOL (AOL) now owns Netscape, and Steve Case himself introduced
the new browser at InternetWorld Spring 2000. But AOL also has a
deal with Microsoft, and reports were mixed as to that agreement’s
future. The AP wrote that, according to Barry Schuler, president of
AOL’s Interactive Services Group, the deal is “likely to continue
for the foreseeable future.” Reuters quoted Schuler: “If the little
matter with Microsoft is resolved and we were allowed to carry the
browser of choice, we’d use the Gecko technology,” which underlies
Netscape’s new browser.”


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