When Netscape Communications launches the Windows 3.1 version of its Navigator 3.0 Web browser Monday, it won't come with long-awaited support for Java applets.
The technical difficulties of making Java work in the 16-bit Windows operating system mean Java is still "coming soon" for the company's Windows 3.1-based browser.
Adding Java support in Windows 3.1 has meant rebuilding the Web browser from scratch because Windows 3.1 lacks multithreading capabilities, said Netscape spokeswoman Donna Sukolsky.
She declined to say when a Java-enabled browser for Windows 3.1 would ship, except to say that one is still planned, and that Netscape engineers have been working on adding Java capabilities to the Windows 3.1 browser virtually since Java's unveiling in May 1995.
Company officials are quick to point out that at least they have a Windows 3.1 browser. Microsoft doesn't offer a version of its Internet Explorer 3.0 browser for Windows 3.1, still the most frequently installed base of Microsoft's operating system customers.