Navigator 4.0: Work in progress

Netscape and Microsoft are racing to evolve their browsers to merge with the desktop environment. Here's a peek at an early alpha of Netscape's Navigator 4.0.

CNET News staff
2 min read
As the Netscape-Microsoft battle spills over into 1997, both companies are racing to evolve their browsers into software that merges with the desktop environment. The following screen shots are from an early alpha Power Mac version of Navigator 4.0, a component of the upcoming Communicator. Communicator is a suite of linked applications that expand upon the functionality of previous Internet software.

These screen shots from a very early version of Navigator 4.0 include core technology that will be broken out into other components within Communicator. The names and details will not necessarily be in the new Navigator itself. For example, the mail client pictured below will become Messenger. The Collections area, a window that organizes a user's email, newsgroups, and other message-based documents, will become part of the Collabra component.

Navigator 4.0 is also scheduled for a cosmetic overhaul, which is not incorporated into this version. Upcoming private beta versions for Unix and Windows will present a different look as early as this week. Screen shots of Communicator components for Windows 95 are posted on Netscape's Web site.

The company hopes to release Communicator to public beta before the end of the year, matching the latest Microsoft pledge to post an Internet Explorer 4.0 beta before 1997.

  "helvetica"="" size="-1" color="#666666">Is Scott Adams a Netscape fan? The company's programmers take liberties with the splash screen.

"helvetica"="" size="-1" color="#666666">This window organizes all of a user's message-based documents and will become the Collabra component of Communicator.

"helvetica"="" size="-1" color="#666666">This revamped message form for sending mail and posting to newsgroups will become part of a separate mail and news client. Note the tab format and the Priority pull-down menu.

"helvetica"="" size="-1" color="#666666">This floating task bar can be dragged within the browser window. The globe button opens a new window; the mail button calls up a new message form. The other buttons are not yet active.