Netscape launches browser upgrade

Netscape Communications has released Netscape 6.1, its latest upgrade to the Internet browser, which is expected to address the problems associated with the Netscape 6.0 software released last fall.

The upgrade, released yesterday, is expected to enhance the performance and stability of Version 6.0 while adding new features, the Mountain View, California company said in a statement. Netscape is a subsidiary of New York-based AOL Time Warner Inc.

With Netscape 6.1, users can check multiple e-mail accounts, send and receive instant messages via AOL's instant messaging service, and perform searches for information on the Internet from the Web address field within the browser. Users can also check stock quotes and get news headlines by choosing from the hundreds of tabs in "My Sidebar," a customizable area of the browser.

The company said Netscape 6.1 is powered by the small, fast, embeddable Netscape Gecko browser engine and can run across a wide variety of platforms including PCs running Windows and the Mac OS 9 and 10. Netscape said it has also reduced the size of the browser software to make it smaller, faster and easier to download and has set up the installer to allow users to choose only those components they want before they actually download them.

In addition, the new Quick Launch feature reduces the start-up time of the browser, the company said. Netscape 6.1 also offers users enhanced privacy and security features including Cookie Manager D, which lets users choose which sites can set cookies and which sites to block; Password Manager, which remembers and automatically fills in user name and password information for specific Web sites; and Master Password D, which allows users to set a Master Password so others who have access to their computer can't access their saved passwords or use them to access their personal information on the Web.

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