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Deadline for Navigator 3.0

Netscape Communications will steal the spotlight from Microsoft on Monday when it releases the final version of its own Web browser, Navigator 3.0.

Netscape Communications will steal the spotlight from Microsoft on Monday when it releases the final version of its own Web browser, Navigator 3.0.

The company will also detail partnerships with content providers that will deliver customized information services to Navigator users through the browser's email client, which, like Web pages, can include embedded HTML, graphics, and Java applets.

Familiar to beta testers by now, Navigator 3.0 features additional multimedia and security capabilities, including faster Java support, Internet telephony, VRML capabilities, digital certificate support, and LiveConnect, a system that allows applets, JavaScript, and plug-ins to work together.

Microsoft has incorporated many of the same capabilities into its Internet Explorer 3.0, which was released in final form earlier this week. Microsoft topped off the release of the browser by announcing deals to provide users with free access to Wall Street Journal Interactive, ESPNET SportsZone, and other content providers.

Netscape's deal with content providers is expected to put a new spin on delivery of Internet information, allowing content providers to use Navigator email to "push," or send, Web pages to users rather than requiring them to surf to a site. By contrast, Microsoft's Internet Mail and News software does not support this breadth of multimedia capabilities.

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