- Netscape Communications has formally released the long-awaited new version of its Netscape browser that sports a spruced-up interface that works with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
Netscape 6 marks the browser's first full support for the XML programming environment, which helps developers and users create applications and web-based components that can be used across platforms, as well as migrate data among environments.
The new browser includes several other improvements, including the capability to check multiple email accounts using the same screen and a new built-in search engine that can share space with the URL box where email addresses are typed in.
With the redesign, Navigator now has a search field in the main toolbar that allows user located anywhere on the web to type in what they are looking for and simply click the search button. This step avoids having to load a special search page or to open a frame, a company spokesman said.
Version 6 also contains Themes, which allows users to more finely tailor the browser as well as several of its components such as Mail, Instant Messenger, and Composer. Users can pick the "Classic" theme, or the more familiar look of the product, or pick a more modern one and use that as the default look.
Two other new features include Password Manager and Forms Manager. The former helps users remember all the login names and passwords of various sites they regularly visit and automatically fills them in on future visits. The latter captures form information so when a user visits a web page that repeatedly asks for the same data, a single mouse click automatically fills in that data.
My Sidebar, a new feature on the left-hand side of the interface, allows users to keep track of a collection of different things such as check news updates, check Buddy Lists, set up a stock portfolio, or listen to music.
The updated version can also manage cookies more easily, which helps web administrators more accurately track their users' navigation around the web.