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Atlas upgraded for Macs, Windows, Unix

Netscape Communications today took another step toward the next version of Navigator with a new Atlas beta release.

Netscape Communications today took another step toward the next major version of its Web browser with a new beta release of Navigator for Macintosh, Windows, and Unix.

The new beta version, code-named Atlas Preview Release 2, features design improvements to the navigation toolbar and several enhancements to the Preferences area. Atlas also incorporates the Live3D Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) viewer, an audio playback plug-in, an AVI video viewer, and an Internet phone and chat plug-in called Cool Talk, which requires a sound card, microphone, and speaker.

The new version of Atlas can be downloaded from Netscape's FTP site. Netscape declined to say when Atlas will be released for retail markets.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is preparing to launch a widespread beta testing program for Internet Explorer 3.0, a major new version of its Web browser that includes support for Java, JavaScript, Netscape plug-ins, and ActiveX Controls. Company officials said last week that Internet Explorer 3.0, which will also include Usenet news and mail clients, is expected to go into beta testing around the end of the month.

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