Netscape boosts Navigator

Netscape Navigator 4 is expected to go on show soon but who needs it?

Netscape Communications is expected to show a prerelease version of a browser upgrade at its user conference soon, according to sources close to the company. Navigator 4.0 will sport several new features intended, in part, to better tie the World Wide Web browser to existing information systems.

New capabilities include the following:

* Integration with Collabra groupware, which Netscape acquired late last year.

* Support for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory services.

* The ability to customise some aspects of Navigator's configuration and look.

But those tricks may go unused for a while at many IS shops. "We're not doing anything so fancy on our intranet that we care which browser version people use," says David White, vice-president of technology development at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco.

The fast pace of the browser releases seems to have zipped past some companies' intranet deployment timetables, according to White. Although Navigator 3.0 was released in August, "we're still at version 2 point something and just fine," he says.

Navigator 4.0 is due before the end of the year.

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