Netscape 6 set to go

Netscape fans can exhale; a beta release of Netscape 6 premieres on Tuesday at Internet World in Los Angeles.

Netscape's parent, America Online, will do the launch honours for the first time. Steve Case, AOL's chairman and CEO, will unveil the browser in a keynote address on Tuesday morning.

Rooted in Gecko, Netscape's standards-based browser technology, Netscape 6 replaces the current Navigator 4x line that is struggling against Microsoft Internet Explorer.

All in the engine

Beyond realtime messaging and other Netcenter support, Netscape offers few details about Netscape 6 features. Nor is AOL saying whether this version will replace its browser.

But Netscape is chattering about Gecko.

Gecko is the first product from Netscape based on contributions from Mozilla, the organisation managing Netscape's open-source initiative. The Gecko engine renders graphics and text, and promises faster surfing. Its smaller size means browsers like Netscape 6 will download quickly.

Netscape 6 will be a 5.5MB download, says Eric Krock, senior product manager. Netscape 4 is a 15MB download, and IE 5.5 is a 29.4MB download for the full installation.

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