Netscape to answer Explorer 3 release with new Navigator on Monday

The gloves are off in the browser wars. With Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 freshly available for download, arch-rival Netscape has promised a final Navigator 3.0 on Monday.

The gloves are off in the browser wars. With Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 freshly available for download, arch-rival Netscape has promised a final Navigator 3.0 on Monday--and gone on the warpath about the performance of the respective browsers.

Netscape has given its home page over to the announcement and its claim that "Internet Explorer has a long way to go". Netscape's case focuses heavily on speed, and the company provides a comparison table of page download times, which it claims indicates that Navigator is on average 42% faster. Embarrassingly for Microsoft, Netscape says its browser was able to load Microsoft's home page 64% faster than Explorer could.

Although Navigator is usually perceived as the more memory-hungry of the two, Netscape claims it "fills less RAM during operation" than Explorer and occupies less disk space than a similarly-configured Explorer.

Netscape also highlights Navgator's 128-bit encryption support, built-in HTML editing, MIME-capable news and mail features and support for 16 platforms, for which it promises a "simultaneous" release of Navigator 3.0. Whether some features which had been mooted for 3.0--such as built-in Adobe Acrobat technology--are present remains to be seen. Netscape also claims 87.6% of the browser market, based on IDC's Global Internet User Survey in July.

The next version of Navigator, code-named Gallileo, is, according Netscape "coming soon". It will introduce the "Collaborative Net-Top", integration with CollabraShare "and a few surprises we're still keeping under wraps".

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