I always hated Netscape when they ruled the internet ten years or so ago. As a writer of books and articles I always found Netscape as a company to be arrogant, unhelpful, nasty and happily cruel.
I cheered when, Vader-like, Microsoft decided to rise and smash Netscape with Internet Explorer and I laughed out loud when Netscape went down in flames.
Now in 2005 I decided to try the new Netscape 8.01 browser to see how
well it works. I havenâ€™t allowed anything Netscape to remain on any
of my computers since 1997 because installing versions 4.0-7.0 even for
quick look-see resulted in unstable system changes I could not abide.
On first glance, Netscape 8.01 is interesting. The design of the
browser aesthetic is a little elementary but providing both Internet
Explorer and Firefox rendering engines in one browser is an interesting
idea. Here are some other features in Netscape 8.01 pulled from the
Dual Rendering Engine:
For several years now, many web surfers have had to struggle with the
issue of which web browser to use. Netscape 8 Browser neatly solves
this problem by including both display engines. You can set Netscape
Browser as your default display engine, and then switch to Internet
Explorer’s display engine for sites that require it. In addition
rather than having to repeatedly change the display engine for an
individual site each time you visit it, you can tell Netscape Browser
to always remember the setting for that site, and to automatically use
your preferred display engine whenever you visit it.
Tabbed browsing lets you have multiple web pages open in one window
conserving system resources. This feature organizes and frees up
desktop space by opening multiple websites in a series of tabs that you
can easily switch back and forth between.
Site Controls For Secure Browsing:
With more security options than any other browser, Netscape’s Site
Controls allow the user to choose how much they trust a site. Just
indicate how much you trust a web page, and Netscape Browser 8 will
automatically set your security settings, and then remember those
settings the next time your visit that site. Netscape Browser 8 offers
the best of both worlds by combining the intuition of Firefox with the
user-friendly capabilities of Internet Explorer.
The MultiBar condenses toolbars into single customizable buttons,
creating a more spacious, media-rich browser while reducing page
clutter. Add up to ten different toolbars on your browser without out
stacking them on top of each other.
For the first eight hours Netscape 8.01 performed as advertised. Then
it began to repeatedly choke and die. I liked how easy it was to import
Bookmarks and History and Cookies and Cache info. The Form Fill feature
worked well. Switching from Firefox to IE with a single click was a
snap but it often caused crashes.
The Webmail was forward-thinking.
I returned to Firefox 1.03 the next day. The Netscape 8.01 lockups
became unbearable though the browser did show glimmers of promise if it
can stop crashing and burning.