Users of of Netscape's Communicator 4.5 Preview Release 2 are able to override Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the default browser software on machines using Windows operating systems.
Netscape announced availability of the beta of Communicator 4.5 late last week, calling it "Windows friendly" and saying in a statement that the new version represents a "bold campaign to simultaneously promote Internet choice and give Windows users easier access to Netscape Netcenter."
Netcenter is Netscape's portal site and a checkbox during installation of Communicator 4.5 allows users to set up that site as their home page when they log on to the Internet. The checkbox also enables users to choose Communicator as their default browser and to set up Netscape's search engine as the default search provider.
The beta version also incorporates more Netcenter services into the browser. Additional new features include a browsing function that is intended to allow users to more easily find Internet addresses, a customizable e-mail interface so that users can choose a two- or three-pane e-mail view, and a function that recognizes frequently used e-mail addresses as the user begins typing them and automatically finishes them.
Netscape, in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-254-1900 or at http://www.netscape.com/.