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Netscape caters to XP users with upgrade

The AOL Time Warner division jumps on rival Microsoft's XP publicity bandwagon with the release of an upgrade to its Navigator browser, version 6.2.

By Matthew Broersma

AOL Time Warner's Netscape Communications division is the latest to jump on the Windows XP publicity bandwagon with this week's release of an upgrade to its Navigator browser, version 6.2.

The company is touting better integration with Windows XP for the new browser, which includes several new features and minor tweaks.

When XP users set Netscape as their default e-mail application and browser, they can view the number of new e-mail messages in the Windows XP start-up screen. Netscape Mail can also embed itself in XP's contextual right-click menus so it can be used to e-mail attachments without the need to first open the application.

The browser features improved Quick Launch for Windows, a tweaked "autocomplete" feature, an improved download manager and an address book. The software also includes new features for business users, such as Simple MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) support.

The browser is available for several operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X.

The Gatekeeper: Windows XP Netscape, once the dominant browser company, is one of several competitors continuing to challenge the ubiquity of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. With most people using IE as their browser, however, many Web sites no longer bother to ensure they are compatible with other software, leaving Netscape users in the lurch.

Navigator is based on a long-running open-source project called Mozilla. The current Navigator browser is based on version 0.9.4. When Mozilla reaches its 1.0 release it is due to be included as the default browser in some Linux installations, including Red Hat Linux.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.