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Communicator in 3 new flavors

Netscape continues its Communicator rollout with three new versions of the software suite for the retail market.

    Netscape Communications (NSCP) is continuing its Communicator rollout with three new versions of the software suite for the retail market.

    With Netscape promising to put its software on 100 million desktops in the next 12 months, retail outlets this weekend will begin selling three variations on the Communicator theme: Communicator Internet Access, Communicator Deluxe, and the Netscape Publishing Suite.

    The Internet Access edition will give users 30 free days of access through a major Internet service provider and will come with several plug-ins, including the CyberCash Wallet, Headspace Beatnik for enhanced audio, and ichat for real-time chat.

    The Deluxe edition comes with 16 plug-ins, including antivirus software and PC-to-HTML conversion tools. The Publishing Suite bundles Communicator with Fusion Personal Edition, an entry-level version of NetObjects' site-building software; it also comes with an image editor as well as all the plug-ins found in the Deluxe edition.

    The Internet Access edition costs $59 and comes with a $30 manufacturer's rebate for previous Netscape Navigator customers. The Deluxe Edition will cost $79 and comes with a $30 rebate available to everyone. The Publishing Suite is due in early fall and will cost $129, minus a $40 rebate.

    Netscape also makes versions of Communicator and Navigator available as free 90-day trials on its Web site. After 90 days, users are on their honor to pay for the software.