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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Netscape Browser 9.0 to be released shortly

Although it hasn't seen a major update in well over a year, the Netscape browser is about to get a makeover, according to a teaser posted to the Netscape blog. Version 9.0 of the software, which AOL reincarnated in 2005, is due in the coming months.

A number of things are already known about Netscape 9. Most notably, the browser will have deep integration with the new Netscape.com user-driven news site that debuted last year and mirrored the functionality of Digg.

Also, developers say it will remain a standalone product built atop Mozilla's Firefox code base; it will not contain a mail client or Web page editor. Instead, the browser will integrate a number of different Firefox extensions that relate to Netscape.com, including a Friends' Activity Sidebar and Sitemail Notifier.

The new browser will now be cross-platform, compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Smaller features are getting focused on for 9.0, such as a redesign of Netscape's FTP view.

When it was first reborn, the Netscape Browser was intended to be a friendlier version of Firefox, adding more privacy features and phishing protections, as well as the option to render pages using Internet Explorer's Trident engine for compatibility. The software included a "Trust Rating" system that warned users of potentially dangerous Web sites.